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Zero Hunger to the Rescue of Brazilian Indians

Two and a half thousand victims of malnutrition from indigenous communities in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil will receive 87 tons of food drawn from the stocks of the Zero Hunger program.

The products will be transferred to the state by the National Supply Company (Conab), which will also deliver 1,600 basic food baskets to drought victims in the state of Ceará.


According to the Ceará state secretary of Agriculture, Carlos Matos, most of the crop has already been ruined.


Only 8 of the state’s 184 municipalities have not suffered the consequences of drought, while over 60% of the crop was lost in 85 municipalities, and 30-50%, in the rest.


Without money to pay off debts and buy food, and without water to drink, farmers are now depending upon the federal government for help.


In Mato Grosso do Sul, according to the Conab, the goal is for emergency donations gradually to be substituted by transformative actions.


The government thus intends to work together with the indigenous communities of Dourados on the Backyard Subsistence and Family Garden project.


Through this project, the communities will learn how to cultivate vegetable gardens and orchards, planting rice, peanuts, and cassava, in addition to fruit trees. The project will also be implanted in local schools.


Food distribution to the Mato Grosso indigenous communities and the drought victims got underway last weekend, with collaboration from the National Indian Foundation (Funai), the National Health Foundation (Funasa), and the Civil Defense Agency.


In 2005 the Indians of Mato Grosso do Sul have already received 190 tons of food from the Conab.


So far this year. the Conab has distributed around 14 tons of provision to communities throughout the country that are facing conditions of food insecurity.


They include bivouacked settlers, communities composed of descendants of runaway slaves, Indians, and drought and flood victims.


ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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