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TEMPORARY PROGRAM SUSPENSION

HEALTH AND SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT – COVID 19

We have suspended operations for at least two months at locations around the world in response to the global threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This proactive measure is intended to minimize the risk COVID-19 poses to the communities we serve, our volunteers and staff; the health and safety of our All Hands and Hearts’ community is our foremost priority. We remain committed to finishing the work we began, once the global situation stabilizes.

AUSTRALIA BUSHFIRE RELIEF

Disaster Profile: Australian Bushfires

Bushfires began in Australia in August 2019 and in early November they spread throughout New South Wales (NSW) due to high temperatures and prolonged drought. In early December 2019, the fires spread to Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and, in early January 2020, to the Australian Capital Territory.

The fires have burned over 27 million acres across Australia, with approximately 3,102 homes destroyed, including over 2,300 homes in New South Wales (ECHO Jan 31). Most of the fires across the states have now been contained and as fire season comes to a close (typically lasts until March), communities are now focusing the majority of their efforts on the large recovery ahead.

Program Work: Temporary Suspension

Our Australia Bushfire Relief is currently on hold. We have suspended all operations, in response to the global COVID-19 situation, to prioritize the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the communities we serve.

Our Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART) completed in-depth, ground assessments of two areas of South Australia (Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills). Simultaneously, we performed remote outreach and assessments of affected areas in Victoria and New South Wales; based on our findings, we decided to focus our efforts on Kangaroo Island.

Once we commence work in Australia, our primary focus will be on installation of sediment fences to protect water supplies from contamination. Additional scopes of work focusing on environmental impact, habitat restoration and livelihoods support are likely to be included and we will be working closely with relevant government departments and local communities to coordinate these activities.

A special thank you to our generous partner, Jefferies, for providing an initial 500,000 AUD grant to support the launch of our Australia Bushfire Program.

In the News

To learn more about the bushfires in Australia, watch the video below.

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