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Drought Relief Fund passes on $1.5 million to charities making a difference

28 August 2018

The 2018 Drought Relief Fund, a partnership between Channel 9, Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS), and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), has today announced $1.5 million in grants to assist farmers in drought.

The funds will be provided in $250,000 allocations to the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in both New South Wales and Queensland, the Salvation Army (in partnership with NSW Farmers Association); Drought Angels and a number of regional Rotary Clubs.

NFF President Fiona Simson said the contribution followed the allocation of $1 million in donations a fortnight ago.

“So far, mums and dads, businesses – big and small and governments, have donated more than $8.9 million to the 2018 Drought Relief Fund.

“Today we continue our commitment to making sure the funds donated by big-hearted, hard working Australians are used in the ways that will most benefit our farmers in need.”

Both the CWA of New South Wales and the Queensland will receive a second allocation to help farmers with everyday living expenses.

“We’ve been blown away by the efficiency of both CWA arms in translating relief funds to on-the-ground help, including assistance with household bills and groceries,” Ms Simson said.

The Salvation Army, which has a partnership with the NSW Farmers Association, will also receive $250,000 for financial and pastoral support, including gift cards for use in local shops.

Specifically for Queensland farmers, many whom have been battling drought for more than seven years, Drought Angels will be given a helping hand to continue their efforts in providing farmers with fodder and water; help with household expenses and in-demand health services.

The Rotary Clubs of Longreach, Moranbah and Pioneer Valley will continue their valued drought support to local farmers including the provision of mental health services, household bill relief and assistance with education expenses, while the Rotary District 9630 (located in southern Queensland) will apply their $250,000 allocation to provide financial assistance for food and other household necessities.

Ms Simson said the NFF recognised the importance of balancing the need for immediate relief with the need to handle the donated funds with extreme care.

“Our primary objective is to ensure relief is delivered in a way that is targeted, transparent, and beyond reproach.

“We’re honoured to have been able to provide this support in partnership with Channel 9 and RAWCS.

“We will continue to work with RAWCS on charitable initiatives and government on ensuring formal assistance programs are more accessible to those in need, and to increase our industry’s resilience for future droughts.

"We know that many of challenges will remain long after it rains, that's why we're approaching the distribution of relief funds as a marathon not a sprint," Ms Simson said.

Starting from Friday, Need for Feed, a project of Lions International and a recipient of $500,000 in the first tranche of relief donations, will send up to 90 trucks loaded with feed and other necessities to farmers throughout NSW.

Farmers can apply for assistance from the recipient charities on the below contacts:

CWA of NSW:www.cwaofnsw.org.au or (02) 8338 1595
CWA of Queensland: www.qcwa.org.au or (07) 3026 1220
Drought Angels: www.droughtangels.org.au or
Need for Feed: www.needforfeed.org or 0459 444 111
Salvation Army: www.salvos.org.au or 13 72 58

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
P 0408 448 250
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