Red Cross hits back at claims it’s withholding donations from bushfire victims
The Red Cross has hit back at claims it’s withholding donations from bushfire victims for future use.
News Corp papers made the allegations, saying the charity was “stashing cash for future floods and cyclones”.
The charity has categorically denied the claims, insisting all of the $115 million donated so far will be used on immediate and long-term bushfire recovery.
Since the bushfires we have worked in 110 relief centres, registered 61k people, and paid almost 700 emergency grants. We are getting $1m out the door each day to people who need it. If you have been affected, you are foremost in our minds and efforts. You keep us going. pic.twitter.com/l7kHwOHwdA
— Australian Red Cross (@RedCrossAU) January 22, 2020
Chris Smith grilled Red Cross Director Noel Clement to find out exactly what is going on and where the money will be spent.
“I can assure you we’re not withholding money for future disasters,” Mr Clement says.
“We know that there is immediate support needed and we’re doing all we can to get money out there now.
“But we also know there are phases to this recovery and communities will need money as they’re ready to rebuild, they’ll need money at various points.”
How the money will be spent:
$30m – immediate assistance
$18m – to be with communities over the next 3 years
$5m – support teams on the ground
$1m – bereavement payments
$remaining – more immediate and long term support
Up to 10 per cent – administration costs
Mr Clement admitted up to 10 per cent of donations goes to essential administrative costs, saying the charity has always been upfront about that figure.
He went on to reveal exactly how the funds are being allocated.
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has issued an emotional attack on the charities in charge of bushfire donations, saying the money is needed now.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Constance challenged the head of the Red Cross, Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul to visit the South Coast and see the devastation first-hand.
“How dare they say publicly they’re only going to spend a third of the donations on people when people are traumatised and in crisis?” Mr Constance said.
“We need the donations … what we don’t need is welfare bureaucracy thinking this is the opportunity for them to grow their organisations.”
Red Cross Director Noel Clement told Chris Smith they’ve being trying to contact Mr Constance for a week.
“We reached out to him, we’ve not managed to actually speak to him. Again we reached out to him yesterday.”