On Friday 3 January 2020, Rio Tinto donated a further A$750,000 to the Australian Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery efforts that are supporting people affected by Australia’s bushfire crisis. It adds to the A$250,000 Rio Tinto donated to the Red Cross in November and brings the company’s total donation to A$1 million.
The funds will be used to help Red Cross emergency service teams provide vital support to impacted communities including:
- safe places to take shelter;
- psychological first aid to reduce trauma;
- information and practical assistance through the time it can take to recover; and
- longer-term recovery programmes in affected communities.
Since November 2019, hundreds of Red Cross emergency personnel – mostly volunteers – have manned relief and evacuation centres in bushfire impacted communities around the country.
Rio Tinto is also providing employees involved in current volunteer firefighting efforts with full leave entitlements.
“With the escalation in the bushfire crisis, which has caused devastation for many Australians, we have increased our donation to A$1 million to support the Red Cross in its tireless work caring for affected communities,” said Rio Tinto chief executive, J-S Jacques.
“We are also ensuring any of our employees involved in firefighting and relief efforts are supported throughout this period with full leave entitlements.”
“Beyond these steps announced today, we will continue to explore ways to help impacted communities in this time of need,” he announced.
To donate to the Red Cross, please visit here or donate by phone by calling 1800 733 276.
For those interested in supporting fire-affected communities, and the efforts of the Australian firefighters, here are some other helpful links:
- Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) are running their own donations for those wanting to support the firefighters. Donate to the CFA here and the RFS here.
- The Victorian Government has partnered with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army to establish the Victorian Bushfire Appeal – donate here.
- The St Vincent de Paul Society is assisting people by providing food, clothing and other basic essentials such as blankets, clothing and toiletries to give comfort and dignity – donate here.
- The Salvation Army has launched a Disaster Appeal and is offering a range of services and assistance measures to help those who have been impacted by the devastating bushfires in Australia – donate here.
- Food Bank is providing essential supplies to support the work of first responders and emergency services as well as giving ongoing assistance to affected communities during the months and years it takes to recover – donate here.
Chris Dickman, a professor of ecology at the University of Sydney, estimates that more than 800 million animals have been killed in NSW alone since the bushfires started in September 2019, and estimates that more than one billion animals have been impacted by bushfires nationally.
- WWF Australia is raising money to help provide emergency care and medicine for injured koalas affected by bushfires – donate here.
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is rescuing and treating sick and injured koalas – donate here.
- RSPCA inspectors are protecting animals in threatened or affected areas – donate here.