International

Thunberg donates funds to fight Amazon COVID-19 spread

Stockholm, Jul 21 (IANS) | Publish Date: 7/21/2020 10:12:08 AM IST

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she will donate 100,000 euros ($114,000) to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus in the Amazon rainforest.

Thunberg announced on Twitter on Monday that the funds will be given to SOS Amazonia, a campaign led by climate protest group Fridays For Future Brazil, the BBC reported.

It will be the first donation to come from a $1.14 million windfall Thunberg received for being awarded the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity.

The Swedish teenager said she was “extremely honoured” to receive the award.

All of the prize money would be “donated, through my foundation, to different organisations and projects who are working to help people on the front line, affected by the climate crisis and ecological crisis”, Thunberg said.

The activist’s announcement comes after one of the best-known indigenous defenders of the Amazon rainforest died last month due to the coronavirus in Brazil, where the disease continues its rapid spread.

Paulinho Paiakan, chief of the Kayapo people, as one of the most important indigenous voices during Brazil’s return to democracy in the 1980s, and helped lead the campaign for the creation of large indigenous reserves in the Amazon, the BBC reported.

Across Brazil’s Amazon region, more than 280 indigenous people have died with coronavirus, according to the the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples’ Association (Apib).

There are special concerns about the outbreak in the area, where hospitals are underfunded and access to remote areas is difficult.

Para, home to tens of thousands of indigenous people, has become one of the hardest-hit states in the country.

Brazil currently accounts for the world’s second highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at 2,118,646 and 80,120, respectively.

Coronavirus-sceptic President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for the virus for a second time last week.

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