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Victim Support outlines fund plan for victims of shooting

Victim Support has today outlined its plans for the distribution of remaining funds raised through its Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund appeal.

More than $10.5 million was raised by the charity Victim Support through Givealittle. Donations continue to flow in to help victims of the attacks through Givealittle and directly to the charity.

“These are extremely complex, unprecedented circumstances, and we have been committing all of our energy and resources to support those affected by the attacks and finalising a plan for funding distribution,” said Victim Support Chief Executive, Kevin Tso.

“Today, I am seeking to dispel any uncertainty or angst around the funds raised through our appeal.”

Victim Support says a third lump sum payment will be made over the coming week, going to the bereaved families, physically injured victims and others present at the attacks.

This payment will bring the total distributed to victims to date to $7 million. This has been funded from the $10.5 million pledged to Victim Support through Givealittle, as well as additional pledges from Islamic community organisations and donations received by the charity through other channels.

A final payment will be made in June once all donations have been received and a final appeal total is known.

A contingency amount of $1 million will be held back from the final payment to ensure that Victim Support can meet commitments to victims’ emergency expenses and provide financial assistance to new victims who are still to come forward.

As committed from the outset of the appeal, no portion of the funds donated will be used to cover administration expenses. 100 per cent of funds received will go to victims.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of New Zealanders over the eight weeks since our appeal was launched. The amounts given have far exceeded all expectations, and meant that a larger and more complex distribution process has been required.

“I also want to reassure victims that we will continue to provide them with practical and emotional support for as long as they need us after that. The distribution of the final donated funds does not mean our job is done.”

“We see every single day just how much of an impact the financial support we’ve already given is having in the local community.

“Every step we have taken since the first donation was made has been about doing the right thing by the victims, while ensuring a rigorous process is followed and an accurate victims’ list built. More people are coming forward daily for support.”

Initial lump sums of $15,000 for the families of each deceased person (including $5,000 from the Ministry of Justice Victim Assistance Scheme) and $5,000 for each physically injured person, were made available as they were referred to Victim Support.

A second payment of $15,000 to the families of each deceased person, and $8,000 for each physically injured person, was made on 18 April.

In addition to those payments, over $1 million of additional financial support has been provided since the days following the attacks to cover a wide range of emergency needs, such as food, childcare, funeral expenses and travel for family members.

Victim Support wishes to again thank everyone who has donated to the fund. The organisation is working with Spark to close the Givealittle page on 30 May.

Donations received or any funds remaining after 30 September will be redirected to the Christchurch Foundation’s Our People, Our City Fund for victims’ long-term support.

Victim Support has committed to have its fund administration independently audited.

Victim Support continues to work closely with the Police, government agencies, the Muslim community and the victims to reach all those directly affected by the attacks.

“We are engaging with Islamic community leaders and victims to talk through the final distribution of funds. Many victims will need ongoing support in the months and years ahead. We’re here to support them through that,” says Mr Tso.

© Scoop Media

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