USAID signs letter of intent with Alcoa to improve lives of people in the Amazon

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a letter of intent with ALCOA Brazil, an American aluminum manufacturer and the Sustainable Juruti Institute (IJUS). The partnership aims to improve local communities and improve biodiversity conservation and other natural resources through sustainable and innovative solutions in the Amazon. Initiatives include promoting positive impact entrepreneurship, strengthening sustainable products value chains, among others.

“The government of the United States is committed to work with Brazil to foster economic development that respects the environment and creates value for the local population. I am happy to take part in this celebration between USAID and Alcoa Brazil”, said the US Ambassador, Todd Chapman.

Alcoa has maintained bauxite mining operations for eleven years in Juruti with a proposal for sustainable development for the region. “We have a centuries-old trajectory of innovation, responsibility and shared development in all of our operations in the world. In Juruti, the responsibility of mining in the Amazon is experienced daily by us, being reflected in our commitment to the mine’s socio-environmental efficiency and in building a legacy of sustainability in the region”, says Otavio Carvalheira, president of Alcoa in Brazil.

By  signing the letter of intent, USAID, Alcoa, and IJUS will work together to strengthen the organization and connection of value chain actors, support sustainable impact entrepreneurs, companies and startups in the Amazon, with focus on the municipality of Juruti, Pará State.

“Biodiversity and conservation of the Amazon forest depend on the development of new economic models that are ecologically sustainable, financially viable, and that benefit local communities. By working together, we hope to create positive impact and the efficiency of our actions”, explained Ted Gehr”, USAID Brazil’s director.

The letter of intent also includes cooperation in the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), a collective action platform led by the private sector which aims to create sustainable development solutions for the Amazon. The initiative has USAID support, ALCOA is a member of the PPA Deliberative Council. USAID, PPA, Alcoa and IJUS are already working together in the response to COVID-19 in Juruti, through the “Juruti against COVID-19” project.  The initiative works in three different lines of action, preventing infection, strengthening the local health system, and supporting local entrepreneurs.

The Sustainable Juruti Institute (IJUS) makes effective investments in its actions to promote sustainability in Juruti and its surrounding regions. We realize how much this Letter of Intent clearly establishes actions to create sustainable development solutions based on the wellbeing of communities and new models. This way, I believe we have the opportunity to create something new, special, that has positive impact on people’s lives”, said Maria Raimunda Melo, IJUS’ president.

PPA Solidarity

USAID, NPI EXPAND, the Partners for the Amazon Platform (PPA) and SITAWI Finances for Good, have teamed up to create a cross sector partnership to help fight COVID-19 in Brazil. PPA Solidarity: Response to COVID-19 in the Amazon is an initiative that engages with the private sector through strategic partnerships to leverage innovative and scalable solutions to strengthen the rapid response to the fight against COVID-19. With an initial contribution of US$ 2,1 million (around R$10,6 million) from USAID through NPI Expand and leveraged an additional US$ 3,5 million (R$18,2 million) with private sector partners that include Alcoa, Bank of America, Beraca, Cargill, Caterpillar, Fundo Sustentabilidade Hydro, Mineração do Rio do Norte, Suzano and Vale. The partnership works with civil society and private sector partners on four lines of action: 1) Mobilize communication campaigns to address COVID-19 while empowering vulnerable and/or isolated communities to protect themselves against exposure and transmission of COVID-19; 2) Promote measures to prevent and control COVID-19 infection in health facilities and in the residence/community; 3) Support the local health system (hospitals, health posts and community health units/services) to respond to and control  COVID-19 through case management and surveillance services; 4) Support small business in the Amazon Region affected by Covid-19 (entrepreneurs, producer groups and cooperatives) with financial advisory services and low-interest loans.  

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For further information on this Press Release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office in Brasília at BrasiliaEMBEUA@state.gov or on (+55 61) 3312 – 7367 / 7350 / 7364. Follow us on Twitter and Flickr.