World, Americas

Close to 500,000 deaths, Brazil feels COVID-19 economic effects

Beyoncé joins campaign with motto ‘Brazilian Lives Matter’ against hunger in country

Gabriel Toueg   | 14.06.2021
Close to 500,000 deaths, Brazil feels COVID-19 economic effects

SAO PAULO, Brazil

As Brazil approaches the grim toll of 500,000 deaths by COVID-19 and a parliamentary committee in the Senate moves to identify those responsible for the poor management of the pandemic in the country, Brazilians still face a slow situation regarding vaccination, with just over 11 % of the population fully immunized.

On Monday, according to the Ministry of Health, the receipt of 3 million doses of Janssen's vaccine, still not being used in the country, has been postponed, which further extends the expectations of vaccinating Brazilians. Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals single-dose vaccines were scheduled to arrive in the country on Tuesday.

The Ministry did not inform the reason for the delay, but said that the batch should arrive this week, without specifying exactly when.

Meanwhile, data released on Monday by the renowned Faculty of Economics FGV show the magnitude of the impact of the pandemic on Brazil’s economic situation. The average income has regressed to the lowest level since 2012, when FGV began carrying out the survey through its FGV Social study center.

In the first quarter of 2020, the average per capita income had reached the highest level since 2012, R$1,122 ($220 approximately). But, with the crisis, in the period covering the first three months of 2021 it fell 11.3%, to R$995 ($196).

Inequality in the country has increased.

Measured by the Gini Index, in the first quarter of 2021 the indicator reached the mark of 0.674, the highest since 2012. On the Gini scale, zero means total income equality. The closer to one, the greater is the inequality. In the initial phase of the pandemic, the index was 0.642.

Beyoncé campaign

Today, singer Beyoncé joined, through her philanthropic institution Beygood, a campaign focused on hungry people in Brazil. With the motto “Brazilian Lives Matter”, the American singer asks in an Instagram post, liked over 28,000 times, for help in assisting Brazilians facing food insecurity.

The celebrity used a hashtag in Portuguese, #TemGenteComFome (There Are Hungry People) to advertise the campaign.

Over 40 Brazilian actors and singers supported the initiative, which received praise from Beyoncè’s Brazilian fans. "My God, she’s the best of them all,” wrote one follower. Another said that the singer “remembered Brazilians”. Yet another one said the singer “is doing more than the (Brazilian) president”.

The campaign is held by Brazil’s Black Coalition for Rights, Amnesty International Global Movement, Oxfam Brasil Organization, Redes da Maré Institution, Brazilian Action to Combat Inequalities, 342 Artes Group, Network of Activism, Ethos Institution, Orgânico Solidário Platform, Prerrô Group and Fundo Brasil with the goal of distributing food and hygiene products to roughly 223,000 families in vulnerable situations, mapped across Brazil.

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