An unprecedented disaster is unfolding across large parts of Australia. The most savage bushfires on record continue to wreak havoc and devastation for Australian families.
This bushfire season many people have lost their lives and more than 1600 homes have been destroyed as fires continue to burn. Once the fires pass, the recovery process from such an unprecedented disaster will take a long time.
Supporting children and young people through the three stages of relief, recovery and rehabilitation is a critical priority for UNICEF Australia.
UNICEF Australia is currently working with local partners to support an immediate relief package for school children in time for the new school year, which will provide affected children with uniforms, school shoes, textbooks and electronic learning devices.
UNICEF Australia (as an Australian non-government organisation) is in the unique position of being able to access significant expertise from UNICEF’s global experience.
We know from our work in emergencies around the world that children are always among the most vulnerable in disasters. This type of targeted support is crucial to help children who have lived through disasters, with school providing a sense of routine and normalcy.
Working with partners UNICEF Australia will also support the deployment of a range of clinical specialists to affected areas ensuring that children receive appropriate psychosocial and mental health support.
This deployment will consist of a team of clinical professionals - including an occupational therapist, a clinical child psychologist and social workers - who will attend affected communities in a specially designed van, to provide a range of essential services to help recovery.
Importantly, UNICEF Australia’s bushfire response will also provide the opportunity for young people to be participate in and contribute to response, recovery and rehabilitation by coming together, sharing their experiences and working together to help frame solutions for future disaster events.
UNICEF Australia is working with partners to support children and their families affected by the devastating bushfire crisis, including:
- Supporting immediate relief efforts through a back-to-school package for affected children in time for the new school year
- Supporting recovery by working with partners to provide access to psychosocial support for affected children
- Contributing to rehabilitation efforts by convening appropriate forums to ensure children’s voices shape future responses.
Your donation will help support this critical work, assisting children impacted by bushfires and drought, and helping to ensure that their perspectives directly inform responses to the crisis.
A minimum of 95 cents of every dollar donated will directly support the response to the bushfires and drought here in Australia.
Help us reach every child, not only overseas, but also in our own backyard. It is vitally important for children who have lived through disasters to return to normal life as quickly as possible, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to assist them to resume their education.
In the case that UNICEF Australia receives enough funding required to support our bushfire response and recovery programs, we will close this appeal from public donations. Thank you for your generous support to communities affected by the devastating bushfires.
We are keen to work with individuals, foundations and companies who wish to build a more significant and tailored partnership to respond to this crisis. Please contact our team
UNICEF Australia offers its sincere condolences
to children and families affected by the unfolding bushfire crisis across our country. We wish to acknowledge the selflessness, professionalism and dedication of the first responders, the Rural Fire Service, Australian Red Cross and other organisations already working on the ground.