Lula announces R$1.6 billion for regions affected by floods in RS

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced this Tuesday (12) that the federal government will grant a loan of R$1 billion from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) to help with the economic recovery of cities hit by the extratropical cyclone in Rio Grande do Sul.

The announcement took place after an interministerial meeting at Palácio da Alvorada. According to the government, the loan will be made with zero interest, a two-year grace period and only adjusted for inflation.

In addition to granting a loan, the president stated that the management will also release R$600 million from the Service Time Guarantee Fund (FGTS) to serve 354 thousand workers.

In addition to Lula, the meeting was attended by Geraldo Alckmin (vice-president/MDIC), José Múcio (Defense), Rui Costa (Casa Civil), Wellington Dias (MDS), Simone Tebet (Planning), Marina Silva (Environment), Paulo Teixeira (Agrarian Development), Márcio Macedo (General Secretariat), Paulo Pimenta (Secom), Jader Filho (Cities), Waldez Goés (Regional Development), Juscelino Filho (Communications), Nísia Trindade (Health), Fernando Haddad (Finance) , Rita Serrano (Caixa Econômica), Edegar Pretto (Conab) and Nelson Barbosa (BNDES).

“Comrade Alckmin and I just had a meeting with the commission that was created to deal with the problems of Rio Grande do Sul”, he declared, in a video released recently. “In addition to the 740 million he announced last Sunday, we have now made a decision to grant a BNDES loan of R$1 billion to help recover the economy of all cities. And at the same time, the release of R$ $600 million from the guarantee fund to ist 354,000 workers who have a guarantee fund.”

On the weekend, Alckmin, while serving as President, announced R$740 million for the city halls of the municipalities affected by the rain in Rio Grande do Sul. To make the resource viable, the federal government will make a provisional measure (MP) to open extraordinary credit: part will be from resources already in the Budget, and another part, through relocation.

In the video, Lula said that the government monitors the situation in the region and, as information arrives, management will make decisions. “What I can guarantee to the people of Rio Grande do Sul, to the people of the region that was harmed by the rain, is that the federal government will not fail to meet the needs of the people of the region,” he said. “We are going to take care of the people with great care because the people cannot suffer the way they are suffering.”

The government also studies specific actions by the Ministry of Health to rebuild affected hospitals and health units, and the Ministry of Education for the restoration of daycare centers and schools. The resources, however, have not yet been accounted for.

Lula’s absence

A President’s trip to Rio Grande do Sul, according to Palácio do Planalto, was not debated at the ministerial meeting. According to government istants, it makes no sense for Lula to visit the region because Alckmin, as acting president, already flew over at the weekend.

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