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Red Cross Commission Announces Emergency Grant

www.redcross.org.nz

NEWS RELEASE

Wednesday March 2, 2011

RED CROSS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES EMERGENCY GRANT

The independent New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission has now been established to disburse the first emergency and hardship grants from the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

The Chair of the appeal Commission, Sir John Hansen, announced the grant details following a meeting of the Commission in Christchurch earlier today.

The Commissioners of the previous fund set up after the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake resolved today that that fund be wound up and that any grants approved but unpaid would be paid immediately. The former relocation grant that the remaining funds had been earmarked for has been overtaken by the tragic events of last Tuesday. The balance in that fund of about $10 million will be transferred into this new fund, giving a total, as of now, of about $22 million.

Sir John, who was chair of the former Commission, paid tribute to the sterling work of former fellow Commissioner Norm Withers, who at the time of his appointment was the Deputy Mayor of Christchurch.

In announcing today’s grants, Sir John said: “The grants will be distributed fairly, transparently and in a timely manner. Cash is going to be vital in helping people rebuild their homes and lives. It will enable them to buy what they need most, and these purchases will help revitalize local economies.”

“All funds from the appeal will be used towards the New Zealand Red Cross response to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake to assist people and communities affected. New Zealand Red Cross will not make any deductions for administration or staff salaries.”

Two grants have been established: an Emergency and Hardship Grant and a Bereavement Grant.

Emergency & Hardship Grant
Eligibility: People living in their homes without power or water or sewerage, or people forced to leave their home because of damage or because they have no water or power or sewerage.

• Emergency & Hardship Grant: $500 for single people (per household)
• Emergency & Hardship Grant: $1,000 for couples and families (per household)

Bereavement Grant
• Bereavement Grant: $10,000 for the next of kin of confirmed deceased.

People from overseas affected by the earthquake are eligible to apply for these grants.

How to Apply:
• Forms online at www.redcross.org.nz from Thursday, March 3.
• A dedicated call centre will be activated on Friday, March 4. The number to call will be announced Friday, March 4.

Grants will be electronically transferred into each recipient’s bank account once approved.

“It is important that these grants be distributed as promptly as possible. Applications will be approved in days, not weeks or months,” said Sir John.

Sir John also announced the Commission members. They are:

• Ngaire Button, Deputy Mayor, City of Christchurch
• Michael McEvedy, former Mayor of Selwyn District Council
• Roger Blair, Waimakariri District Council
• Lianne Dalziel, Labour MP for Christchurch East
• Nicky Wagner, National MP for Christchurch
• Jane Huria, representative of Ngai Tahu
• Jerry Talbot, Counsellor of Honour, New Zealand Red Cross

The New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal to date has raised $11.6 million. Australian Red Cross, British Red Cross and Irish Red Cross are also running national appeals for the people of Christchurch.

Japanese Red Cross has provided generous financial assistance to the New Zealand Red Cross emergency response. American Red Cross is working with New Zealand Red Cross to coordinate donations in the USA.

People in New Zealand can donate to the appeal via www.redcross.org.nz or make an automatic $20 donation by ringing 0900 733 27.

People can text a message of hope to 4419 to donate $3.

Details of how to donate in Australia, Britain, Ireland, Japan and the USA can be found at these countries’ red cross websites, www.redcross.org.au, www.redcross.org.uk, www.redcross.org.ie, www.jrc.or.jp/english, and www.redcross.org.

ENDS

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