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Red Cross assists Bay of Plenty flood victims

New Zealand Red Cross assists flood-affected Bay of Plenty families

New Zealand Red Cross has begun distributing $165,000 in grants to nearly 100 families affected by flooding and earthquakes in the eastern Bay of Plenty in July.

It is expected the funding will make a big difference to families as they continue to rebuild their lives, New Zealand Red Cross Director General Flora Gilkison said today.

“Many of the recipients have told us heartfelt tales of great personal loss. This money will not compensate them for their losses, but will provide some assistance and encouragement on their road to recovery.”

All of the recipients were forced by the flooding and earthquakes to leave their homes and many are still unable to return.

New Zealand Red Cross is able to distribute $185,000 for the families after launching an appeal in July. This included $40,000 from the New Zealand Red Cross’ disaster relief fund, $20,000 from Vodafone, public donations and a dollar-for-dollar Government contribution via the Eastern Bay of Plenty Mayoral Disaster Relief Trust. No money has been deducted from the appeal for marketing or administration.

New Zealand Red Cross has this week distributed between $500 and $2000 each to 94 Whakatane and Opotiki families, totalling $165,000. About $20,000 remains to be allocated to families who are continuing to apply for assistance.

Mrs Gilkison says the assistance will meet a variety of needs for families affected by the floods and earthquakes.

“The mission of the Red Cross is to protect human life and alleviate suffering wherever it occurs in the world. It is heartening to be able to make such a valuable difference for vulnerable New Zealanders when disaster strikes at home. New Zealanders should feel proud of the assistance we have been able to give to these families thanks to their generosity and support.”

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