Canadian Red Cross to give Alberta fire evacuees $50 million in immediate financial assistance

EDMONTON, May 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Thanks to the generous outpouring of support from Canadians, Canadian Red Cross will provide immediate financial assistance totalling $50 million to more than 80,000 people displaced by the Alberta wildfires. Adult evacuees registered with Red Cross will receive $600 each and children will receive $300, so families and individuals can buy what they urgently need during this difficult time.

"People affected by these fires left their homes with almost nothing. We have listened to their needs and developed our plan for immediate assistance based on what we heard," said Conrad Sauve, president and CEO of Canadian Red Cross. "This financial assistance allows evacuees to purchase what they require most after this disaster."

The distribution of emergency financial assistance from Red Cross begins today and will be provided to evacuees in a number of different ways – including electronic banking transfers through email, money orders, cash cards, or vouchers – depending on people's current location in Canada and the quickest, most secure way to receive these funds.

The Red Cross is aiming to reach all evacuees to confirm their information within the next few days. To expedite this process, all evacuees who have now registered with the Red Cross are being asked to wait until they are contacted to confirm their information. Once confirmed, more information will be provided based on people's location and personal circumstances.

Those who do not receive an online payment because they do not have a bank account or email address, can rest assured that Red Cross is working hard to contact them, using the contact information provided upon registration. Evacuees who have not yet registered with Red Cross are still eligible for assistance now and in the future upon registration.

The electronic cash transfers were made possible by the generosity of Canadians who have donated more than $67 million so far, to the Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.

Sauve noted that Red Cross help will continue. As people return home, Red Cross will work at the local level to help people and their communities rebuild and recover for as long as it takes over the years ahead.

Details regarding Red Cross recovery assistance will be announced in the coming weeks, as the emergency stabilizes and recovery efforts begin.

SOURCE Canadian Red Cross

For further information: Canadian Red Cross media line: 1-877-599-9602; Alberta media can call: 1-403-541-4431; Quebec media can call: 1-888-418-9111


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