Wednesday April 13, 2011
Ahead of World Red Cross Day on Sunday, May 8 and International Volunteers Week (May 9-15), Red Cross has calculated the economic value of its volunteer workforce worldwide at six billion dollars.
Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner says 'A recent global survey found Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers contributed 6 billion dollars worth of services worldwide in 2010, or around 90 cents for every person on earth.'
'The work of Red Cross volunteers in Australia is valued at more than $82 million a year.'
According to the survey, donor dollars go much further with volunteers extending the work of Red Cross staff by a ratio of 1 to 20, meaning that for every paid staff member there are 20 volunteers.
'Our community-based volunteer network and workforce reaches around 30 million people each year during disasters alone and even more through community development initiatives that reach vulnerable people each day', says Mr Tickner.
'During the recent floods, cyclones and fires in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia Red Cross volunteers assisted more than 27,000 people in evacuation and relief centres.'
'Our volunteers also supported many others in recovery centres and by going door-to-door to visit people in their homes.'
'As we celebrate volunteers and volunteering worldwide, we urge all governments to formally recognise the economic value of volunteers by incorporating their contribution into key economic and social indicators used in decision-making and planning at the highest levels.'
'Red Cross volunteers and staff are always among the first on the ground to assist individuals, households and communities affected by disasters and emergencies.'
'We are among the world's leading humanitarian providers of water, emergency accommodation and sanitation services, we play a major role in assisting refugees and asylum seekers, we prepare breakfasts for school kids who might otherwise go to school hungry, and each day we ring thousands of older or isolated people to check they are safe and well.'
Available for interview:
To arrange an interview or photo opportunity with a Red Cross volunteer contact Media
Advisers, Katie Isaac 0408 858 255 or Bruce Wardley 0439 384 676