"There will be no funds for land purchases, no funds for welfare payments. The lack of funds means that there will be no public policies to help indigenous communities in emergencies," said Indigenous’ rights advocate and member of the organization Tierraviva, Ricardo Morinigo.
INDI received overall funding of 8 million dollars for 2021 from the National General Budget (PGN), less than the endowments for 2020. The indigenous communities allege that the budget does not cover their basic needs.
They also stressed that the government had not implemented social and political strategies to alleviate their situation, which is vulnerable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and prolonged droughts.
Paraguay's Congress declares a national emergency as forest fires raged, burning much of the Chaco dry forest, home to cattle ranches, jaguars & many indigenous tribes. Regional neighbors Argentina, Bolivia & Brazil also struggling to contain fires, amid a drought.
The funding strategy that the Indigenous organizations will present to Congress proposes a more accurate investment in improving communities' livelihood, like land purchasing and medical assistance.
According to Tierraviva, about 12,000 Indigenous people in the Presidente Hayes department face drought or have limited access to drinkable water. For instance, there has been no rain since November in the El Chaco community.
"The idea of this campaign is to work for a dignified budget for the indigenous peoples, which represents a real response to their need," said Tierraviva’s legal representative Adriana Agüero.