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Geneva/ Porto Alegre, 5 July – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is partnering with the state of Rio Grande do Sul to operate the Humanitarian Reception Centres (CHA) for people affected by the floods that hit the region at the end of April. Many of those affected have lost their homes and are in need of temporary shelter.

Heavy rains affected more than 2.3 million people in 478 of Rio Grande do Sul’s 497 municipalities. Official data estimate that more than 420,000 people were forced to leave their homes; while176 deaths were confirmed and more than 30 people are still missing.

The first three centres, which will open in July (with the first one opened already on July 4), will have a total capacity of around 2,400 people from Porto Alegre and Canoas. Each centre will feature facilities for adults and children, sleeping and breastfeeding rooms, Water Health and Sanitation (WASH) services, laundry, and cafeteria. Public transport, education and health services will also be accessible from the centres.

“IOM is one of the main international organizations in preventing, mitigating and responding to disaster displacement. We will work with the Government of Rio Grande do Sul to manage the reception centres and ensure that the response takes a cross-cutting human rights approach without leaving no one behind,” said Stéphane Rostiaux, IOM Brazil Chief of Mission.  

The CHAs will serve as temporary shelters while durable solutions are identified for displaced people. These include social protection, reconstruction and assistance plans offered by the government.  

“The name Humanitarian Reception Centres sums up the purpose of these places, which is to receive people with humanity and dignity. We will have the necessary facilities to meet the main needs of the families, and we can count on IOM’s global experience in running these centres,” expressed the vice-governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Gabriel Souza, who is coordinating the project.

These efforts are in line with the global strategy of IOM, which also leads the global Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Group on Coordination and Management of Shelter in Disaster Displacement.  

IOM’s efforts aim to ensure that affected people have access to life-saving assistance and shelter in safe and dignified places with adequate facilities by ensuring access to basic services, food and WASH, supporting capacity building to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, and promoting community participation.  

This project is also possible thanks to the support of Fecomercio/Sesc/Senac, the Brazilian Federation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism. Our partnership is fundamental to this action


For more information, please contact:

In Brazil: Juliana Hack,  

In Panama: Jorge Gallo,

In Geneva: Daniela Rovina,  

Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (
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