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Focus shifting from grants to programmes in year four

The third anniversary of the 22 February Canterbury earthquake marks a change in focus for the New Zealand Red Cross Recovery Programme, from the distribution of grants to the development of sustainable programmes.

After almost three years of successful grant distribution, the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission held its final meeting on 17 February 2014.

It did so having distributed $89.0 million in grants to 109,710 grant recipients - more than a quarter of the greater Christchurch population. There is a total of $14.6 million in ring-fenced grants to be paid out over the next two years.

Chair of the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission Sir John Hansen says it has been a privilege to help such a wide cross section of the community. “Distributing grants to more than 100,000 recipients was a huge achievement by everyone involved. It took a lot of hard work, especially in the early days when we paid out $42 million in grants within 6-8 weeks following the February earthquake,” he says. “None of this would have been possible without the generosity of New Zealanders and people overseas who donated to the New Zealand Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.”

The total amount raised in the Appeal was $128 million. In addition to distribution of grants by the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission, appeal funds have been used for a number of assistance programmes run by New Zealand Red Cross over the last three years.

Red Cross volunteers have made 3, 837 outreach visits and knocked on 5, 164 doors through the Outreach Programme. There have been more than 14,000 visits to youth website Address the Stress and 10,000 DVDs have been made with Australian disaster psychologist Dr Rob Gordon, who has also given five community talks and 10 workshops. There have been 43, 454 torch radios and 12,750 Winter Warmer Packs distributed. Through the Cross Town Shuttle community transport programme, more than 900 passengers have been taken to and from medical appointments and social activities.

Recovery Programme Manager Sandra James says the next two years of the Recovery Programme will focus more closely on long-term programmes and working with other organisations.

“We have consulted with more than 45 organisations and networks across greater Christchurch, to inform the development of a recovery plan for 2014-2016. Our future work will involve collaborating more closely with partners in the recovery space and focusing on sustainable programmes,” she says.

New Zealand Red Cross is involved in the third anniversary civic events. Secretary General Tony Paine and volunteer Yvonne Morgan will lay a wreath on behalf of New Zealand Red Cross at the memorial service on 22 February, and Red Youth members will join other organisations in reading out the names of those who died in the 22 February earthquake.

New Zealand Red Cross is also hosting two visitors from the Japanese Red Cross, both of whom will attend the public memorial service.

ENDS

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