Income program for those affected by dam failure has record number of new beneficiaries
In September 2023, a record number of people affected by the collapse of the Córrego do Feijão Dam in Brumadinho were enrolled in the Income Transfer Program, which is managed by Fundação Getulio Vargas’ consulting arm, FGV Projetos.
Following the approval of judicial institutions, 3,148 affected people will receive benefits from this program as of September, positively impacting the budgets of thousands of families. This is in addition to the 20,000 people already included in the program. In all, 123,000 people receive a monthly payment from the Income Transfer Program, which aims to provide financial support to those whose livelihoods have been affected.
They are homemakers, farmers, retailers, fishermen, traditional groups, indigenous people and relatives of the victims. Many of the assisted families rely on the Income Transfer Program for their subsistence. Francimar Felinto, one of the program’s beneficiaries and a resident of Esmeraldas, Minas Gerais, says that his small business on the banks of the Paraopeba River is no longer able to pay his family’s bills. “The Income Transfer Program is saving me now. If it weren’t for this help, we’d have a hard time putting food on the table. I have a small business but because of everything that has happened, business has dropped a lot. I used to sell 150 loaves of bread a day but today I sell six. Sometimes hours go by without a car passing my door,” says the shopkeeper.
About the Income Transfer Program
The Income Transfer Program is provided for in Appendix 1.2 of the Comprehensive Compensation Agreement for the Córrego do Feijão Dam. It was created to provide financial support to those whose livelihoods have been harmed. Fundação Getulio Vargas was selected by the judicial institutions (the Minas Gerais State Public Defender’s Office, the Federal Public Defender’s Office and the Minas Gerais State Public Prosecutors’ Office) to implement and manage the Income Transfer Program. Since November 2021, FGV has been responsible for managing its resources, paying benefits and registering new beneficiaries.
The agreement defined a sum of R$4.4 billion to pay for the Income Transfer Program’s monthly payments until April 2026. Currently, 123,000 people are covered by the program. To be eligible for it, people must meet at least one of the four criteria set out in the public notice: be a family member of a fatal victim; live in the “warm zone,” be a member of a traditional group/community; and live in the affected area. This last criterion includes all those who lived within 1 km of the Paraopeba River or Três Marias Lake and within the polygonal limits on the date the dam failed, January 25, 2019.
Income Transfer Program – key numbers
- R$1.6 billion in benefits paid
- >123,000 people assisted
- >60,000 applications received and analyzed
- >20,000 beneficiaries enrolled in Income Transfer Program
- >60,000 in-person services
- >500 visits by community outreach teams
- >5,000 verification visits to addresses
- >70 meetings with affected communities