Less than 50 days before the 2016 Olympics, the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a financial emergency, and requested federal funds to help fulfill obligations for public services during the games.
A decree in the state’s Official Gazette disclosed that emergency measures are needed to avoid “a total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management.”
Rio de Janeiro’s interim Governor, Francisco Dornelles, revealed that “serious economic crisis” threatens to stop the state from honouring commitments for the Games.
The governor has blamed the crisis on a tax shortfall, especially from the oil industry, while Brazil overall has faced a deep recession.
The announcement is coming after a visit by Brazil’s Interim President, Michel Temer to Rio, where he promised the federal government would ensure all obligations are met for a successful games.
Most public funding for the Olympics has come from Rio’s city government, but the state is responsible for areas such as transport and policing.
While the majority of Olympic infrastructure costs have been spread across city, state and federal budgets, with some financing from private companies, the state is responsible for most day-to-day security and health services in Rio.
The state’s revenue, largely tied to the petroleum industry, slumped in the last two years as global oil prices collapsed.
The local organizing committee for the Games said the state’s fiscal situation did not impact its actual running of the Olympics, which relies entirely on private funds.
Rio 2016 organizing committee spokesman, Mario Andrada said, the state’s declaration will have no negative impact on the games, as they are guaranteed and will happen.
For the Olympic games which start Aug. 5, Rio is expecting about 500,000 foreign visitors, which has coincided with Brazil’s worst recession since the 1930s and a political crisis that last month led to the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff.