Fort McMurray Fires Update: Local charities to receive $50 million from Canadian Red Cross

 Conrad Sauve, President and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross, announced $50 million will go to Fort McMurray's local charities like the United Way, Wood Buffalo Food Bank, the YMCA and others. Charity Intelligence heralds this decision. The $50 million in community grants is immense - it is twice the donations Fort McMurray charities received in total donations in 2013. 

These local charities "are already connected to the residents among the most vulnerable groups in our community. Because these organizations are already at work on the ground they have the expertise and resources." The Canadian Red Cross will work with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the United Way of Fort McMurray, and other agencies in a committee to better understand the Fort McMurray's community needs and collectively decide how to meet those needs. 

In yesterday's news release some additional figures were released: Canadians have donated $125 million to the Canadian Red Cross for the Fort McMurray disaster relief and recovery. This figure is expected to rise further as additional donations come in. Furthermore, the Canadian Red Cross will receive matching funds from the Government of Canada and the Alberta Government. May 31st was the deadline for matching donations. A Canadian Red Cross media contact says the final tally of matching funds will be announced shortly. 

Canadian Red Cross announced it has spent and committed $165 million. For context, for the first three months of disaster response, the Canadian Red Cross spent $13.6 million to aid in the Alberta Floods. 


A preliminary breakdown of Canadian Red Cross spending and commitments

1st month Fort McMurray Disaster Relief and Recovery (all figures in $million)
Total donations received 125
Total spent and committed  165
Direct cash transfers to Fort McMurray evacuees:
May 11 announcement 50
May 30 announcement 25
Transportation aid for Fort McMurray evacuees to return 15
Grants to Fort McMurray local charities 50
Canadian Red Cross programs: 18.8
deploying 1,600 volunteers and staff, registering evacuees, support to 16 evacuation centres, recovery supplies to Fort McMurray households (cleaning supplies, masks, hygiene kits, etc), financial aid to help with rent/mortgages, funding a hotline for local business recovery.  
Fundraising - 5% of donations and funds received 6.3


Canadian Red Cross has been contacted to review this financial breakdown. Edits may be forthcoming.  


Charity Intelligence reports on Fort McMurray:

Transition from Disaster to Recovery – May 30, 2016

Fort McMurray Fires: Where to Give – May 5, 2016

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