EDMONTON, May 13, 2016 /CNW/ - In just one day, more than half of the $50 million offered by the Canadian Red Cross to help people affected by the Alberta wildfires has already reached thousands of families in need of basic items during this difficult time.
In 24 hours, the Red Cross successfully provided more than $30 million in immediate financial assistance to 64,000 people by an electronic transfer of funds. The ongoing electronic transfers represent the largest and fastest distribution of immediate financial assistance to people in Canadian Red Cross history.
"We are so pleased that the Red Cross has quickly reached thousands of people who needed this assistance immediately," said Conrad Sauvé, president and CEO of Canadian Red Cross. "This is a precedent-setting effort on the part of Red Cross. It reflects the outpouring of generosity from Canadians who are clearly making a difference in people's lives."
Thousands of people forced from their homes by wildfires in the Fort McMurray region were notified by emails from the Red Cross on Wednesday that emergency funds were immediately being provided to evacuees. Adults registered with Red Cross are receiving $600 each, and children receive $300, so families and individuals, who left their communities with almost nothing, can purchase what they need most urgently.
"I wanted just to say thank you to Canada and all Canadians," said one evacuee in an emailed reply to Red Cross. "Thank you so very, very much! As you can imagine, this money is badly needed right now," said another.
The electronic transfer of funds was made possible by Canadians who have donated more than $86 million so far to the Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.
The Canadian Red Cross continues to reach all registered evacuees, ensuring no one is left without assistance. For as long as it takes, Red Cross will continue to help people and communities rebuild and recover from this disaster.
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 call 1-888-418-9111