Quilombola communities in Amapá receive support from PPA Solidarity to face Pandemic

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Ecam Projetos Sociais and Conaq / AP expanded actions to confront Covid-19 in Amapá, with the support of PPA Solidariedade. The partnership was signed in 2021, to support the fight against the second wave of the pandemic in the Amazon. Among the actions carried out is the delivery of basic baskets and PPE. 

In the last few weeks, Brazil has followed up the high number of cases by Covid-19. In Amapá, hospitals are still full and now need to face new cases of the coronavirus variant. According to the epidemiological report released on Wednesday, May 5, the state totals more than 106 thousand cases of contaminated and more than 1,500 of these cases have died.

The situation is even more worrying for quilombola communities that, often isolated, need to deal with poor access to health, information and basic sanitation, in addition to the instability to acquire income. About 70% of the quilombola communities in the country survive on family farming, an activity that has been greatly affected in this period.

Therefore, Ecam Projetos Sociais and Conaq / Amapá developed activities to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on quilombola communities in the state, such as the distribution of masks, basic food baskets and hygiene kits to 60 quilombola communities. The support of PPA Solidariedade will make it possible to expand the reach of actions to quilombola communities that will be assisted through the partnership.

The Covid-19 impact mitigation initiative on quilombola communities has two fronts, the first of which is for the delivery of essential hospital supplies, such as PPE and equipment for use by community health agents, and the second for guaranteeing and emergency aid for vulnerable communities. In all, more than 9,000 quilombolas have been supported since August last year.

“Continued support for quilombola communities in Amapá is of paramount importance and, unfortunately, the situation has been aggravated by the new variants of COVID-19. The actions that aim to guarantee food security and the protection of community health agents are fundamental to guarantee the (r) existence of these quilombola communities in the state ”, says Meline Machado, coordinator of the initiative.

It is not new that organizations work together with actions aimed at the quilombola communities of Amapá. The populations have already participated in workshops to survey and analyze socioeconomic data, where they were able to perceive the main potentialities and challenges of the territories to demand public policies. Through surveys, it was possible to identify the difficult access, poor infrastructure and the most frequent diseases in quilombos, including some aggravating factors for Covid-19, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Other actions by Ecam Projetos Sociais in the region

During the delivery of emergency support, a survey was carried out on the quilombola family farming in Amapá, as it is one of the main sources of income for the populations. With the diagnosis finalized, it was possible to identify some of the main challenges for the commercialization of quilombola family farming products, such as: precarious access routes and difficulty in transport for the production flow, lack of technical assistance and access to public policies, barriers associations' administrative bodies, etc. It is important to highlight that these obstacles are interconnected and that in order to solve them, quilombola communities and their representative organizations need to be further strengthened.

The diagnosis appears to support the construction of strategies aimed at strengthening the production of quilombola family farming and reducing food insecurity in the territories.

About PPA Solidarity

USAID, NPI Expand, the Partners for the Amazon Platform (PPA) and SITAWI Finanças do Bem have teamed up to create a partnership to help combat Covid-19 in Brazil. The “PPA Solidarity: Response to Covid-19 in the Amazon” is an initiative that engages the private sector in strategic partnerships to leverage innovative and scalable solutions to strengthen the rapid response to emergencies and combating Covid-19.

The initiative works with partners from civil society and the private sector in four lines of action: Mobilize communication campaigns on risks and community engagement in mitigation and protection measures to face Covid-19 and empower vulnerable communities and / or isolated to protect against exposure and transmission of the virus 9; Promote infection prevention and control measures in health facilities and communities; Support the local health system (hospitals, health posts and community health units / services) to respond and control Covid-19 through health and surveillance services; Support entrepreneurs, small social impact businesses and startups, producer groups and cooperatives with small financial contributions, business advisory services and access to low interest loans or microcredit.