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Bushfire report outlines Salvos' response

Bushfire report outlines Salvos' response

Bushfire report outlines Salvos' response

29 April 2020

The Salvation Army Six-month Disaster Appeal Report, released this week, outlines the range of assistance the organisation has been able to offer in bushfire-affected areas.

By Lauren Martin

The Salvation Army has released an interim report on the 2019-20 bushfire disaster, outlining its ongoing recovery work in areas of Australia that were severely affected.

The Six-month Disaster Appeal Report opens with a message from Australia Territory leaders Commissioners Janine and Robert Donaldson: “The Salvation Army’s response to this national crisis has shifted from emergency response and immediate relief to medium- to long-term recovery. Our experience in dealing with disasters tells us that recovery and rebuild can take anywhere up to three years, and The Salvation Army is committed to standing by communities for the long haul.”

The report reveals that of the $41 million in funds donated to The Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal, more than $20 million has already been distributed. “Of the remaining $21 million, from May 2020, $14 million in new grants will be distributed to bolster long-term recovery and rebuilding,” the report states.

“The Salvation Army has also committed $1.5 million to support families in New South Wales with temporary homes. The remaining $5.5 million will be distributed to best meet the needs of individuals and families over the next three years.”

The report outlines the range of assistance The Salvation Army has been able to offer in bushfire-affected areas, including specialist financial assistance, through the provision of Doorways and Moneycare financial counselling.

“Moneycare financial counsellors were active since November 2019, as they helped people navigate the complexities of insurance and debt as a result of the fires. They also provided general support and advice around grants and benefits available,” the report reads.

Millions of dollars in Salvation Army disaster recovery grants were distributed to affected households between November 2019 and April 2020:

  • $126,570 in Hardship Recovery Grants to those experiencing extreme hardship.
  • $5.1 million in Significant Loss Grants to those suffering loss from extended evacuation, loss of essential services, other significant property damage or income loss if their place of work was damaged or destroyed.
  • $4.4 million in Total Loss of Residence Grants for those whose primary place of residence (owned or leased) had been destroyed or rendered permanently uninhabitable.

The Salvation Army’s focus is now on medium- to long-term recovery. It continues to provide financial assistance and counselling; phone-line workers who are processing requests for financial support and material aid; outreach workers embedded in local communities; and case workers in communities offering financial, emotional and psychological support.

“With COVID-19 placing constraints on how all Australians interact, The Salvation Army has had to adapt,” the report reads, but says that it is “continuing to stand by people impacted by the bushfires with teams assessing applications for support online or on the phone.”

You can read and download the Six-Month Disaster Appeal Report here



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