Brazil: Warao indigenous people forced to leave Venezuela due to hunger and illness

The economic crisis in Venezuela has forced members of the Warao indigenous group to flee their traditional homeland on the Orinoco river delta for border towns in neighbouring Brazil. In Pacaraima and Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima state in northern Brazil, over a thousand Warao people are now living in temporary shelters provided by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and Brazil-based... Еще international humanitarian organisation Fraternidade. One mother spoke of her perilous journey to reach the camp. «The children were crying from the hunger. 'Mama, I want food, I want water. I need to eat, I'm hungry.' I was desperate, I'm still desperate,» she said. While there have been some improvements, in terms of access to basic necessities, life is still difficult for the Warao, many of whom resorted to begging. Nevertheless, those who reached Brazil are adamant they will not return to their homeland where near-hyperinflation and a deep recession has led to shortages of basic goods under President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. «Hugo Chavez used to give them seeds and support — their main source is agriculture. But when government was changed, they took out all the subsidies,» one Brazilian staff summarised. «The people began to starve. Children became sick and died.» Until the tribe returns to their homeland, it is at the mercy of the Brazilian authorities and international aid organisations. With no long-term solution to this humanitarian emergency, the future looks uncertain for the Warao.

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