Australian Red Cross has launched an $8.6 million community recovery program in the wake of the devastating floods that hit eastern Australia in the first three months of 2022.
Red Cross Queensland Director Garry Page said the three-year recovery plan would support thousands of people across 19 local government areas, with 15 recovery officers now working with communities to provide outreach, psychological and social support, capacity building, community-led recovery activities, and advocacy.
“This is on top of distributing more than 66,800 grants to people in flood-hit communities,” he said. “The recovery program and grants are the result of $53.9 million donated by individuals, businesses and governments. Our thanks go to each and every donor, as every single dollar makes a difference.
“We assisted 42,275 people in evacuation and recovery centres with psychosocial support, comfort and connection to other services. And 7120 people registered their locations through Register.Find.Reunite, making it easier for family, friends and emergency authorities to know where they were.”
$53.9 million donated:
Mr Page stressed that recovery was only just beginning.
“Early evidence indicates significant psychological, social and mental health impacts, particularly in areas affected by previous disasters such as floods and bushfires, and the compounding effects of the pandemic and drought. Physical and emotional recovery will be a long road, with early recovery activities now under way.”
He said there was a significant overlap between the communities where Red Cross would provide flood recovery support and areas where it had operated since the 2019-20 summer bushfires.
Mr Page said all eligible grant applications had been paid, and work to finalise the grants program was continuing.
"About 35,000 ineligible applications have been withdrawn, declined or cancelled, and more than 5000 have been reviewed for potential fraud, with assessments continuing.”
Mr Page said Red Cross monitored emerging national and international attempted fraud techniques and adapted its processes accordingly, to ensure as much support as possible went to the people it was intended for.
“This is just one of the many steps we take to ensure we can continue to provide vital services and programs in the face of increasingly frequent and intense disasters such as floods and fires,” he said, noting that Red Cross was again on the ground now, in response to flooding in New South Wales in June and July.
A full report on how Red Cross has responded to the early 2022 floods and how funds have been allocated can be found here: Qld & NSW floods report 2022.
Media: Carolyn Varley, +61 405 761 339; firstname.lastname@example.org, 1800 733 443.
Queensland: Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Logan, Scenic Rim, Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett, Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Gympie.
NSW: Lismore, Ballina, Tweed, Byron, and Richmond Valley.