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Red Cross ramps up emergency work

Red Cross is expanding its work helping bushfire-affected communities to recover, as well as expanding its cash grants to people who have lost their homes in the bushfires since July 2019. Acting Chief Executive Noel Clement said the Red Cross Disaster Response and Recovery Fund had received more than $31 million since New Year’s Eve.

“Australians and indeed people around the world have shown extraordinary generosity in donating to the fund, which will mean we can scale up our work helping communities recover from these devastating fires across multiple states,” he said.

“We are offering immediate assistance in the form of $5000 emergency grants to those who have lost their home. Applications opened this week, so if your home has been destroyed by a bushfire, you can get in touch through our website redcross.org.au/grants.

“A large Red Cross operation is underway, with trained emergency services volunteers and staff in relief centres, evacuation centres, recovery hubs and making wellbeing calls.  Since July 2019, Red Cross teams have responded to 30 emergencies, some of which have been going for up to six weeks, and supported over 18,600 people, through the efforts of more than 1,590 volunteers and staff.

“In addition to direct assistance the donations will help our emergency teams to do their work walking alongside people as they try to build a new normal. We are committing to long-term recovery support for affected communities. With the disasters still unfolding what that looks like is still to emerge and we are working in coordination with other agencies as the recovery needs become clearer.

“We know from long experience in disasters in Australia and internationally that recovery can take years. We will be there for the communities into the long term and we will take the time to work with them and other agencies to support what needs to be done.”

We are also aware that the ongoing nature of these bushfires is having an impact on the Australian community at large. For information and tips on how to prepare for emergencies you can download the Get Prepared app.

To access grants if your home has been lost: redcross.org.au/grants

For information on recovering after a trauma:  https://www.redcross.org.au/emergency-resources#recover-from-disasters

MEDIA CONTACT: media@redcross.org.au (02) 8265 3074 (diverts to on-call adviser after hours)