Brazilian Armed Forces Support Humanitarian Relief Efforts in Bahia

Brazilian Armed Forces Support Humanitarian Relief Efforts in Bahia

By Carlos Kwasinski/Diálogo
January 07, 2022

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Service members from the Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese), Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) and Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) are working in support of the state of emergency due to heavy rains that have been plaguing the south of Bahia state, in the country’s northeast region. More than 70,000 people have been displaced, 29,000 are homeless, and 26 have died due to flooding in the 168 cities that have been affected by the rains, the Superintendence of Civil Defense and Protection of Bahia state indicated.

The Brazilian Ministry of Defense, together with the task force the federal government assembled to work in the region, helped with the distribution of 30 tons of donated food to the city of Teixeira de Freitas, using the FAB’s KC-390 Millennium aircraft. In addition, 2,200 kilograms of medicine were transported to the same location, and drinking water was delivered to indigenous villages of the region.

Brazilian service members delivered drinking water to indigenous villages in the region affected by heavy rains. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

The MB and EB provided air support to indigenous villages isolated by the flood. On January 1, 2022, service members delivered food baskets to the Tupinambá village, in the Sapucaiera region, Ilhéus district.

In the Pau Brasil municipality, an aircraft from EB’s 1st Aviation Battalion rescued stranded indigenous people. “I would like to thank the Army and Civil Defense for rescuing 10 families in the Pau Brasil region. The United Movement of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Bahia [MUPOIBA, in Portuguese] is grateful,” said Tupinambá Chief Agnaldo Pataxó Hã-hã-hãe, movement coordinator.

Aerial picture of one of the regions most affected by the rains in the south of Bahia state. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

“Since December 11 [2021], when we were in the region monitoring the severity of the disaster, we began relief efforts. The people of Bahia can always count on the Armed Forces,” said Brazilian Minister of Defense Army General (ret.) Walter Souza Braga Netto. The MB has transported more than 20 tons of clothing, food, and cleaning supplies to families affected by the rains, since mid-December. In addition, the 2nd General Purpose Helicopter Squadron has been transporting firefighters from Bahia and other states that have sent troops reinforcement.

MB units have been transporting doctors and patients to the Costa do Cacau Regional Hospital, in the city of Ilhéus. On December 31, a UH-15 aircraft worked nonstop to transport 140 cartons of drinking water to the city of Jiquiriçá, in the southeast of the state.