Statement from Red Cross "...funds will be used for Disaster Relief and Recovery" with a "focus" on current bushfires!
Red Cross has consistently said the funds will be used for Disaster Relief and Recovery, with the focus on the current bushfire crisis.
Our operators are standing by.........
Information to be attributed to Noel Clement, Director Australian Programs, Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross has received an unprecedented level of support. In total, people have donated $95 million and this continues to rise.
All funds raised since July 2019 will go to our Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. Currently, all our efforts and resources are going to the unprecedented bushfires emergency we are facing.
At this stage, we have committed $30 million to the direct response phase so people’s immediate needs are being met. This being done by way of $10,000 emergency grants for those whose homes have been destroyed. As of yesterday, we’d received 2,051 applications, paid 559 grants and have 1,492 open cases. $20,000 bereavement payments are also available to the next of kin of someone who is bereaved.
We will be allocating funds towards the all-important recovery work, so when the world’s attention turns away and the story moves on locals don’t feel left behind. We have committed to staying in these communities, working with them once their needs become clearer. We know from our long experience in disasters that receovery takes time and effort and it’s prudent to budget for it. This money is all being spent in Australia. It is also prudent to plan for the inevitable disasters to come, so our Disaster Relief and Recover Fund remains in place to scale up and respond when the cyclones and floods hit.
More than 2,000 Australian Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing around the clock support to communities impacted by the bushfires. The organisation is applying lessons learnt from other emergency work in Australia and across the globe, including the 2009 Victorian bushfires and 2018 Townsville floods.
This is best practice in emergency response. The recovery will continue for years and it’s important to remember this, especially as the bushfires are continuing to burn and the full extent of the needs is yet to emerge.
We understand it may be difficult for people in the fire-affected communities to get information. We have trained volunteers in the field to assist. For those who have internet or a phone please reach out at redcross.org.au/grants or 1800 727 077. We are making the process as simple and as easy to access as it can be. There are some challenges. First, we have to check every application and for many people the documents they need may have been destroyed in the fires. We are trying to make it as easy as possible for these people to access funds.
Red Cross has consistently said the funds will be used for Disaster Relief and Recovery, with the focus on the current bushfire crisis. We have long experience in transparently managing these donations and distribution. We work closely with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Associations, the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission and the Fundraising Institute Australia. These national organisations have strict standards and codes of conduct which, as a member of these organisations, we are committed to upholding. We are also bound by Australian Taxation Law governing fundraising.
Red Cross works in collaboration with other agencies including governments, emergency services, and the not-for-profit sector. We focus on the humanitarian response of a disaster alongside other agencies working in their specialties.