DONATIONS TO RED CROSS FOR BUSH FIRE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
03 February 20
Red Cross has added to its ongoing relief efforts in fire affected communities - where 2,000 + volunteers and staff have been providing support this summer - by doubling its emergency cash grant to $10,000 for people who have lost their homes, and through a new bereavement payment to meet the immediate needs of the families of those who have tragically lost their lives.
“We are working hard to ensure the generous donations from the Australian community and others around the world are used in the best way possible to help people and communities cope with the fires and recover well,” Ms Slatyer said. “Emergency cash grants are just the start of what will be a long journey for these people. We will continue to adapt and evolve our plan to support people and communities and will make further announcements as new supports are provided”
Funds donated have already ensured Red Cross has been there for fire affected communities across the country, providing psychological first aid and in some cases other essentials such as food, water and relief supplies. Since July 2019, Red Cross teams have responded to more than 20 bushfires and supported people in 110 relief and evacuation centres.
“Our volunteers and staff are working to support communities impacted during the fires, to process grant applications as they come in and to commence recovery programs in affected communities,” Ms Slatyer said of the hundreds of applications for financial assistance the organisation had received so far. “Once we have the basic information needed to approve a grant, payment is made within a few days.”
The organisation has already committed to investing in tailored recovery programs in the affected communities for at least the next three years in coordination with government and community agencies. “Our recovery programs will include mental health and wellbeing, support for children and people who are vulnerable, community support events and more,” Ms Slatyer said. “It will be guided by consultations with affected communities and our own extensive experience in disaster recovery.”