Strong storms continue to cause damage and disasters in parts of Brazil
Southeastern Brazil is slowly recovering from the worst catastrophe in its history, which hit especially hard cities located in Rio de Janeiro State’s central mountains. The Diocese of Rio de Janeiro reports that more than 20,000 people have been displaced, and the death toll has risen to more than 800 people. More than 500 people are still missing.
Unusually strong rainstorms are now hitting Southern Brazil, especially in the State of Santa Catarina. There, more than 20,000 people have temporarily moved from their houses due to flooding. To date, 5 people have died, and 162 people have been wounded.
Since the beginning of this crisis, messages of support have been sent by several Bishops and Archbishops throughout the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury was one of the first to contact IEAB’s Primate, The Most Rev. Maurício Andrade, and the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, The Rt. Rev. Filadelfo Oliveira. On Jan 14th, Ms. Sally Keeble, the director of the Anglican Alliance, reached IEAB’s offices and offered necessary help in dealing with the then-rising crisis. A few days later, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, The Rt. Rev. Neil Alexander, opened a much needed account for online donations, which can be accessed here.
Other messages of support came in the following days. The Most Reverend Roger Herft, Archbishop of Perth, in Western Australia, contacted Bishop Maurício to assure him that Brazilians were in his prayers. He noted that Australia, too, is facing similar disasters, “with floods affecting our eastern seaboard and recent severe bushfires affecting Western Australia.” The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, also sent a message of support on Jan 20th. She offered prayers for the victims affected and for their safe resettlement, and reminded us of the need to have “reverence for this fragile earth, our island home.” Bishop Filadelfo, of Rio de Janeiro, confirmed that, upon request, Episcopal Relief and Development is donating US$ 5,000.00 to help with relief efforts in Rio de Janeiro.
The Rev. Olav Fyske Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, also expressed his body’s concern about such natural disaster. The WCC offered “encouragement to the local and national authorities who are working along with Brazilian churches and international organizations such as the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance in their efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people, bring support to the most vulnerable and rebuild this part of the country.”
IEAB thanks all who have been praying and giving to help those who are in need. There is still much work to be done, and despite Brazil’s current economic growth, social inequalities are still abundant in this country. If you still wish to help financially, there are several ways to do so. Other than the Diocese of Atlanta’s account, it is possible to make direct deposits to the following accounts:
A Brazilian account set up by the Anglican Diocese of Rio de Janeiro and ready to receive deposits (including wire transfers from abroad):
IEAB’s International account.
East 53rd Street/ 16th Floor
New York, NY 100432
Holder: Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
Swift Code: CITIUS33
If you send through any of these, please send a message to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org so your donation can be acknowledged. Also, if you want to help with relief efforts in Southern Brazil, please send such funds to IEAB’s International (Citibank) account and contact us through the aforementioned e-mails. We will make sure the funds are sent to the dioceses affected.
The Rev. Canon Francisco de Assis da Silva
Bishop-Elect of Southwestern Brazil