Maps pinpoint traditional communities in the Amazon at risk from COVID-19

As the pandemic advances, a study carried out by a USAID/Brazil partner identifies the most vulnerable indigenous lands and quilombola communities 

Five months after Brazil confirmed its first case of COVID-19, traditional populations in the Legal Amazon are being impacted by the disease. In addition to the many cases and deaths reported in indigenous and quilombola communities (who are considered more vulnerable to the virus), these groups are also facing economic vulnerability and loss of income, and are struggling to find solutions to these many difficulties.

A study carried out by the Amazon Conservation Team (ECAM), a USAID/Brazil partner, indicates that risk levels at 46 communities range from high to very high and extremely high. Another 18 communities face moderate risk (read more here). These findings are based on primary data and 17 indicators measured by community organizations and public agencies, 14 of which apply to both indigenous and quilombola lands. The remaining 3 deal only with quilombolas, and were made available thanks to data collected by the communities themselves under the Sharing Worlds project, supported by the Partnership for the Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB).

These risk areas include indigenous lands located on the Mapuera, Cachorro and Nhamundá riverbanks, and 7 quilombola territories and their communities that live along the Trombetas, Cuminá/Erepecuru and Ariramba rivers. Most of these places have no internet access, which makes it more difficult for residents to cash the R$ 600 emergency aid provided by the federal government – not to mention the time it takes to travel to the nearest town, often by boat.

The ECAM study can help to direct priority actions to these communities, which have been receiving help from partner institutions through the distribution of basic food baskets, hygiene kits, protective masks, information material and other important items for preventing and fighting the new coronavirus.

Learn more about what USAID/Brazil partners are doing to fight COVID-19 here.