Rio Declares Financial Disaster Amid Funding Crisis As 2016 Olympics Loom

Concerns about the spread of the Zika virus are just the tip of the iceberg for the troubles surrounding the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Rio de Janeiro’s government declared a state of financial disaster in a desperate attempt to earn more funding for the Olympic Games, which are set to begin less than two months from now in Brazil’s second-largest city. Rio governor Francisco Dornelles announced the decision Friday.

Brazil is in dire economic straits due to an extended financial crisis, which has left Rio in severe debt as it scrambles to get ready for the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5. According to the Rio state government’s office, the city will need significant extra funding to help make the Games a reality.

“The financial crisis has brought several difficulties in essential public services and it could cause the total collapse of public security, health care, education, urban mobility and environmental management,” the government’s office said in a statement, via FOXSports.com.

Failures to properly fund the estimated $10 billion cost of the Summer Games have affected the entire city, as public workers and retirees have seen months-long delays in receiving their paychecks, while some police stations have had to ask their neighbors to donate essential items like toilet paper.

Declaring a state of financial disaster will allow Dornelles to take extreme economic measures to get the funding his city needs to make the Games a reality. He already has asked Brazil’s acting president for nearly $900 million in emergency funds, according to Brazilian media reports.

The Rio Olympics are dealing with several other issues on top of their financial crisis, including major health concerns and the threat of contracting Zika, which already has caused a few Olympic athletes to back out of the Games.

Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images

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