The state of São Paulo yesterday (February 10th) went through a challenging situation due to rain and flooding which motivated the suspension of the face-to-face work of the employees of the Latin American and Health Sciences Information Center of the Pan American Health Organization / World Organization of Health (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) having implemented the alternative of remote work for its almost 40 employees. Even some of them live in different municipalities seriously affected by flooding. And yet, locally, city and state authorities asked everyone to limit and even avoid travel and stay in their homes to mitigate security risks of any kind.

This decision was taken in coordination with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security in Brazil (UNDSS) as the heavy rains that started on Sunday afternoon (9th) and continued throughout the Monday morning (10th) caused difficulties in movement and mobility both for those who use public transport such as subway, train and bus, and those who use private transport. Traffic was extremely slow and had many hours of congestion. The challenges were concentrated in areas close to the Tietê and Pinheiros rivers and dams.

Fortunately, there is no record of incidents involving any employee of the United Nations Agencies in São Paulo, even though the city is on alert with the forecast of rains until tomorrow (12). The risk mitigation actions and internal communication at the Center and also among all the Agencies that, besides BIREME / PAHO / WHO, are also very effective International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN/WOMEN), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR

BIREME is available to local authorities and shows solidarity with people from São Paulo city and state.

For further information:

Canal Meio

Photos of flooding in São Paulo

El País

O Estado de São Paulo

Folha de São Paulo