UPDATE: ADRA Australia assists rural communities

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ADRA Australia is responding to assist farmers and rural communities as severe drought continues to devastate parts of regional Australia.

A lack of rainfall is causing extreme stress for farmers in particular. While many coastal areas and capital cities have been largely unaffected, parts of regional Australia are bone dry.

“ADRA is well-known for helping people overseas when disaster strikes and emergencies arise and people are suffering,” said ADRA Australia CEO Paul Rubessa. “But sometimes disasters and emergencies happen right here in Australia. We want to get in there and help farmers during this time of vulnerability.”

In response, ADRA is working with local churches and ADRA Op Shops in drought-affected areas in NSW and Queensland, including Dubbo, Cobar, Narromine, Nyngan and Toowoomba. Local churches are assessing needs in their communities and providing assistance in partnership with other organisations responding to the drought. ADRA’s response will provide funding for local church networks to make the biggest impact in their communities.

In the short term, ADRA will distribute cash cards to people identified as falling through the gaps. Cash cards provide farmers and others with flexibility: they can choose to buy necessities such as food, stock feed and drinking water; or to cover bills, medical costs or school expenses.

In the longer term, ADRA is also planning to facilitate counselling sessions and run a series of depression recovery courses.

To learn more and donate, visit adra.org.au/drought.

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