The Red Cross reports assistance provided in Lac-Mégantic: nearly $9 million in one year

LAC-MÉGANTIC, QC, July 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the tremendous outpouring of generosity in support of the Lac-Mégantic community, the Quebec Division of the Canadian Red Cross provided an overview of the work that has been accomplished over the past year. "Already, nearly $9 million of the $14.5 million raised has been distributed, either as direct assistance to people affected by the disaster or through projects developed to promote the recovery of the community and local economy," announced Michel Léveillé, Director General of the Red Cross, Quebec Division.

Assistance provided
At the height of the emergency and in the days that followed the tragedy, the Red Cross helped evacuees by responding to their basic needs for food and shelter. Then, as the scope of the tragedy became apparent, the Red Cross provided assistance to those affected by the disaster, to workers and students who lost their jobs, to grieving families, and to children who lost one or both parents. Aid was distributed to address the basic needs of all of the affected individuals and their families (shelter, personal care, transportation, school supplies, health-related needs, etc.).

Support was not limited to individuals and families: entrepreneurs who lost their livelihood or part of their business and non-profit organizations also received assistance. In addition, aid was allocated for projects related to health and social services, for educational programs in schools and for community support.

Assistance planned
Across the globe, the Red Cross helps people affected by disasters so that they may preserve their dignity. In Lac-Mégantic, beyond the direct assistance for people affected by the disaster, this mission translated into the development of a program to stimulate economic recovery and preserve jobs in the region. A total of $2.6 million will be devoted to projects for businesses, individuals and groups, as well as support for entrepreneurs. "We have already accepted 41 economic recovery projects. We invite all entrepreneurs who wish to participate to contact us," said Léveillé.

The local advisory committee
This committee's job is to ensure the support provided by the Red Cross meets the needs of the community. Its work is also essential for the coordination of the various existing assistance programs. The committee is made up of representatives from the Government of Quebec, the Town of Lac-Mégantic and the community. Thanks to the committee, the assistance provided by the Red Cross does not overlap with government aid, money raised through various fundraising initiatives or insurance policies. "I would like to thank all the members of the committee for their hard work and invaluable cooperation. There is still much to do in Lac-Mégantic, but together and with the help of the various initiatives, I know we will succeed," said Léveillé.

About the Red Cross in Quebec
The Red Cross is active before, during and after a disaster in response to the needs of those affected. In Quebec, as it does everywhere else, the Red Cross develops prevention programs, helps communities to prepare for emergencies, and provides humanitarian and material support to those who have lost everything as a result of a disaster. The Red Cross supports local authorities and the Government of Quebec as required. It is their primary partner in providing services to those affected by disasters.


SOURCE Canadian Red Cross, Quebec Division

For further information:

For more details on the assistance provided in Lac-Mégantic visit www.redcross.ca/megantic

Information:
Carl Boisvert
Communications Officer
Canadian Red Cross, Quebec Division
1-888-418-9111
carl.boisvert@redcross.ca