Drought relief in Australia
The “big dry” has lasted for more than five years.
As drought conditions have worsened in Australia in recent years, The Salvation Army is focusing its relief efforts on households in drought-affected areas. Historically, the Army has assisted drought-stricken farmers.
Recently, the Army met with the Victorian Farmers Federation and government officials, who provide assistance to farms and businesses, to develop a plan for ongoing support.
The following measures are designed to support and strengthen the children, parents and individuals who are struggling to survive this difficult period.
The Salvation Army is working with water cartage contractors to provide drinking water for families, since many rural and farming households that rely on rainwater tanks for drinking water are now without.
The Salvation Army—in conjunction with other agencies—will help pay for household utilities, telephone bills, food and groceries. To ensure children remain engaged in the community, the Army will also assist with payment of school fees, excursions, camps, books and uniforms.
In farming communities, a common response to hardship is, “There’s plenty of people worse off than me,” hiding underlying anxiety, depression and hopelessness. By visiting rural families, casually building friendships and gaining trust, The Salvation Army will provide a trusted listening ear to people, give assistance and refer them to professional support services where needed.
The Army intends to keep towns and families connected through a variety of social activities, not allowing low morale into the social fabric.
The above plans will require the support of people in cities across Australia, but there is also a monetary need. The Drought Relief Appeal was established to spend money in local stores—supporting the communities suffering the many effects of drought.
Donate online at www.salvationarmy.org.au/drought.