Brazil unveils fresh aid for Amazon drought
Brazil's government announced new aid of 13.5 million dollars for northern regions hit by the worst drought in decades which has stymied navigation on the Amazon River and tributaries.
The funds will help for food delivery, water purification and pumping in Amazonas state, where some communities have been cut off by the drop in river levels.
The Brazilian air force has already distributed 500 tonnes of food and supplies to some areas which are normally dependent on water transport.
Officials said the level of the Amazon River at Manaus, the regional capital, is near its lowest level since 1963.
The withering of the Amazon has produced unusual scenes of children playing football in the dried-up riverbed of a tributary, the Quarenta, that crosses Manaus.
Remote towns upstream that rely on water traffic as their main link to civilization have been cut off as their own tributary has all but disappeared.
The rainy season in the area normally begins in November.
(c) 2010 AFP