The Federative Republic of Brazil will reject the $20m G7 aid to help in extinguishing the fires in the Amazon forest, a senior government official has confirmed.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff Onyx Lorenzoni tells the G1 news website “We appreciate [the offer], but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe.”
“Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site. What does he intend to teach our country?” the senior official continued. Lorenzoni referred to the fire that ravaged the Notre-Dame cathedral back in April.
The country’s environment minister Ricardo Salles previously told media that the government had welcomed the G7 aid and deployed the army to fight against the devastating fires that saw 950,000 hectares or 2.3 million acres of forest land laid to waste.
The Guardian reports that the government changed course after Bolsonaro called a meeting with his ministers.
“Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron,” Lorenzoni told reporters.
The USD20m assistance fund was the most concrete result of the three-day G7 summit that was primarily meant to supply the Amazonian nations with firefighting planes.
French President Emmanuel Macron was the first G7 leader to call for the prioritization of the Amazon fires as an agenda in the summit.
“We must respond to the call of the forest, which is burning today in the Amazon,” he previously said calling the instance an “international crisis”.