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SOS helps families affected by Brazil floods

Brazil mapThe Brazilian regions of Pernambuco and Alagoas have been suffering the effects of heavy rains and flooding for the last three weeks.

Children and staff of SOS Children's Villages are safe, but many children and their families who benefit from SOS Family Strengthening Programmes, have had to be evacuated from their towns and need immediate support. Some cities have literally been washed away by the rains and thousands have lost their homes.

SOS staff in Brazil immediately offered help to the local authorities by giving children and families a safe place to stay in SOS Children's Villages in João Pessoa and Igarassu until more adequate shelters have been constructed. Our colleagues have also offered to support the authorities in setting up programmes that help reunite children who have been separated from their families.

So far, it is thought hirty-nine people have died, and more than 1,000 are missing and 400,000 are homeless after the deadly floods hit Brazil in late June. In 2009, flooding killed at least 44 people and uprooted hundreds of thousands in the same area. Brazil has Latin America's largest economy; but millions live in poverty. The north east is Brazil's poorest region. There, the rates of child deaths are double the national average and reach levels similar to those in many parts of Africa and India, according to the New Internationalist magazine.