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Red Cross funding for Fort McMurray boosts to $299m after government contributions

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Red Cross funding for Fort McMurray boosts to $299m after government contributions

Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauve announced total funding of $299m for the organization's wildfire relief operations on Wednesday // Chris Vandenbreekel - Harvard Broadcasting

The federal and provincial governments now have their final numbers for matching contributions to the Canadian Red Cross.

In a press conference this morning, Federal Veteran Affairs Minister Kent Hehr announced his government would be contributing $104m to the organization, while Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs Danielle Larivee said the Government of Alberta would be matching $30m.

The contributions come along with a donations update from the Red Cross themselves, with $165m being raised by individual Canadians across the country.

The provincial government had promised to match donations of Albertans during the month of May, while the federal level did the same nationwide.

The funding brings the current budget for the organization’s operations in Fort McMurray to $299m.

Two-thirds of that funding, $196m, will go towards assisting families and individuals. $84.4m has already been provided through the direct cash transfers, while the rest will assist the underinsured in rebuilding and cleanup.

A further $50m has been allocated towards assisting community organizations and initiatives, $30m is being put towards supporting small business, and $12m toward “community resiliency and disaster preparedness.”

“It’s important to note that these allocations reflect the needs identified to us at this point in the response,” said Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauve. “We know that many needs emerge over time, and we will respond to those needs. The allocations may change.”

Sauve also emphasized that the funds are being held in a trust to ensure the money goes towards recovery efforts in the community.

Anyone who requires assistance is encouraged to call 1-888-553-5505 to set up a needs assessment appointment with the Red Cross.

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