Red Cross announces new round of financial assistance for fire survivors

Photo: Australian Red Cross.
Photo: Australian Red Cross.

More than $200 million donated to the Red Cross has been spent on bush fire recovery, the organisation says - and there will be a new round of financial assistance available.

Nearly 6,000 bushfire survivors have received financial grants and more than 21,000 were supported by a large-scale recovery program, thanks to the $240 million donated to the Australian Red Cross during the fires.

Releasing its Australian Bushfires Report: January-December 2020 today, Australian Red Cross said the remaining money will be spent on a further round of financial assistance and long-term recovery costs.

Noel Clement, Australian Red Cross Director Australian Programs, said while progress is being made, there is still more to be done.

"Communities are recovering at their own pace," said Mr Clement.

"We want to thank everyone who generously donated. It has made a huge difference to people's lives.

"Community members have told us that this generosity helped them find somewhere safe to live, make urgent repairs to their homes or meet medical expenses.

"The resilience shown by people has been remarkable, but we must remember many people are still traumatised and some are surviving day to day.

"We know many have been unable to even begin rebuilding their homes and are doing their best to cope with consecutive crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic."

The report says:

- 5,914 people received one or more grants

- 21,563 received psychosocial support and other assistance through the recovery program

- 49,718 people were supported by Red Cross during the fires in evacuation and relief centres, as part of the response to 37 fires across the country.

A further $33m will be spent on further financial support and long-term recovery work, including $18m for final grant payments, to meet unmet needs within bushfire-affected communities and essential support costs.

Most will be spent in early 2021, and $15m will be used to continue the community recovery program.

This story Red Cross announces new round of financial assistance for fire survivors first appeared on South Coast Register.