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Red Cross processing and making grants

Red Cross processing and making grants

The Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal has reached $194 million, with further fundraising activities likely to bolster the fund over the $20 million mark.

New Zealand Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission is administering the fund by assessing the many applications and working on the huge task of awarding every cent of every dollar to the quake-affected people of Canterbury.

The Commission, on behalf of Cantabrians, would like to thank all the individuals, companies and groups who have given so generously.

As one grateful Cantabrian told us - ‘I would like to express my gratitude to the Red Cross for my recent donation due to losing my job in the earthquake on the 4th of September. The donation was a great and much needed lifeline for me as I was made redundant. I have been able to pay some very overdue bills and this help has eased the stress for sometime whilst I look for a new job. Once again thank you very very much for this donation and the time taken to process quickly my request during such a busy time with so many people in need’.

Commission Chair, Sir John Hansen says “Donors and recipients can be assured every dollar donated will be spent on supporting people in Canterbury affected by the earthquake.”

Red Cross has so far received more than 7,000 applications for grants, with 4,000 of them in the past four weeks. The organisation has expanded its processing team to manage the task as quickly as possible and more than $5 million has been paid out in grants.

“We appreciate applicants’ patience”, says Sir John, “and we want to assure donors their donations are being used with the appropriate accountability, while making sure the affected people in Canterbury get relief as quickly as possible.”

The Commission is working closely with the three Councils, the general public and key stakeholders such as the EQC, to move into the next phase of grants.

“The immediate needs have largely been met with the applications received to date,” says Sir John. “We will be phasing out the Hardship Grant over the next three weeks and focussing on meeting the more long term needs of those affected.”

Further grants will be established to assist with long term financial hardship, and to assist people who are permanently displaced or temporarily displaced while repairs to land and/or homes are carried out.

Red Cross is unable to set the criteria for these further grants until there is certainty around numbers of households affected, and this is contingent on the release of further reports from Tonkin Taylor and the EQC. “Once we have definitive answers we will move immediately to announce the next set of grants.”

ENDS

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