French emergency aid for 88 indigenous communities

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The French government has donated US$2 million in emergency aid to 88 indigenous communities in the Amazon region; Guyana will get US$200,000.

“The immediate objectives are to provide humanitarian support, food relief, medication, sanitization supplies and to reinforce awareness on preventing the spread of the [COVID-19},” the French embassy stated.

The Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) has been chosen to coordinate and implement the French financial assistance in 88 indigenous communities.

The embassy in a statement said its donation went to Coordinator of Indigenous

Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), an indigenous organization that focuses its efforts on the promotion, protection and security of indigenous peoples and territories through the defense of their ways of life, principles, social, spiritual and cultural values.

The amount of the French donation was divided by COICA among eight states covered by the Amazonian Forest.

According to the Embassy, when the Covid-19 crisis hit Guyana, the APA raised concerns for indigenous communities that are isolated and experience limited access to health care services.

“During July and August 2020, three regions which carry the majority population of indigenous peoples have been severely affected by the pandemic. In addition to the disease, the villages suffer from shortage of food and medical supplies,” the French embassy stated.

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