Photo: Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife
It is hard to overstate the damage and loss caused by the ongoing wildfires across Australia. The size and scope of these fires is so immense that its impacts are visible from space. 33 people have been confirmed dead, a newly estimated 1 billion animals have been killed or impacted, and more than 2,500 homes have been destroyed. Cultural loss is also a key concern as it is feared that thousands of historical Aboriginal sites and artifacts have been damaged or destroyed.
Despite the staggering effects of the fires, international media interest has already begun to wane. With donations tightly correlated with media coverage (among many other variables), this reinforces a troubling global trend in humanitarian aid: funding drying up or stopping altogether even as needs persist for years following a disaster as communities strive to recover.
GlobalGiving is committed to serving our nonprofit partners in Australia now and over the long-term as they continue to be instrumental in the wildfire relief and recovery process. You can read about this commitment in more detail in a recent article (“How GlobalGiving’s Australia Wildfires Response is Different”) written by the director of GlobalGiving’s Disaster Recovery Network, Donna Callejon.
We remain incredibly grateful for the generosity and passion of every single donor and corporate partner in support of fire-impacted communities. Nearly 5,000 individual donors and dozens of companies have now supported our Australia Wildfires Relief Fund. To every person who has given $10, $200,000 (like fans of Jacksepticeye, a well-known Youtuber and actor), and any donation in between, we say thank you. Just last week, GlobalGiving provided another round of flexible relief funding to eight of our vetted nonprofit partners in Australia:
- Foodbank Australia continues to provide essential food, water, and grocery supplies to fire-stricken areas across the country. For every $1 the organization receives, it is able to provide $6 worth of supplies to impacted communities through its partnership with the food and grocery sector.
- Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland remains committed to providing grants directly to local fire brigade members in Queensland that have themselves been impacted by the ongoing fires. The organization leads and represents the interests of the more than 330,000 volunteer brigade members in Queensland.
- NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service (WIRES) is expanding its scope of reach to a national level in support of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. It has launched multiple initiatives to provide immediate and long-term assistance to frontline wildlife rescuers and caregivers across the country.
- Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors continues to treat and shelter injured and affected animals from all fire-affected areas. It is, for example, keenly focused on treating grey-headed flying foxes that have been acutely impacted by the fires.
- Sydney Wildlife is activating its Mobile Care Unit, which is staffed by volunteer vets and wildlife caregivers. You can read a recent field report posted by the organization here.
- Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is prioritizing the physical and mental health of wildlife rescue volunteers and caregivers who have been working tirelessly in response to the fires. The organization is equipping these groups and individuals with the supplies and support they need to effectively save and rehabilitate injured and at-risk wildlife.
- Community Foundation For Albury Wodonga Region (Border Trust) is leveraging its 15 years of experience as a trusted community foundation by supporting mental health and well-being programs in its fire-affected communities. In conversation with local community members and partners, the organization will adapt and respond to the evolving needs of those it serves.
- Into Our Hands Community Foundation is building on lessons learned from the devastation of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires to serve communities in Victoria that are once again facing the impacts of wildfires. The organization emphasizes the essential need for local communities to have the means to support and inform decision-making about local wildfire response.
Throughout the coming months, we will continue to monitor the evolution of needs faced by communities impacted by the fires—both human and wildlife—and maintain close contact with existing and new nonprofit partners in Australia, learning from them about how the recovery process is proceeding from their perspective and creating a space for them to articulate their most pressing needs across different affected areas.
At the core of GlobalGiving’s approach to disaster response is our enduring commitment to be trustworthy stewards of our donors’ funds, as well as adherence to our belief that local communities must be the predominant voices developing and owning longer-term solutions to benefit themselves and their environments. Thank you again for your commitment to supporting the people, animals, and landscapes of Australia in this time of great need.
Chase + the GlobalGiving team
Photo: Team Rubicon Global