SA Red Cross aiding Recovery efforts after Unrest

It’s been more than two months since the disturbing unrests that engulfed some parts of the country, as a result the South African Red Cross Society has noted an increase in the vulnerability of communities in which they serve. While R1000 might sound so little for some people, for residents of Soweto it brought so much joy. More than 8000 elderly people living alone and child headed households received cash-transfer humanitarian relief on Wednesday 6 October at the Red Cross branch office in Rockville.

The International Federation of the Red Cross released R5,6 million from its Disaster Relief Fund (DREF) to enable South African Red Cross Society to provide relief and life-saving assistance to affected households. The main objective of this DREF operation is to respond to the humanitarian needs of approximately 8,180 people (1,636 households) in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal affected by the urban violence through the provision of hot meals, health care through psychological first aid (PFA), WASH and cash transfers for basic household items.

Cash – transfer based Programming (CTP) has been an effective and flexible way to support people affected by emergencies, maintaining their dignity and choice, while fostering local economies.

Irene Mutombwa-Shumba, the South African Red Cross Society National Disaster Manager mentioned, “SARCS in partnership with government together with other stakeholders conducted a continuous needs assessments to understand the plight of affected communities. The main objective of today’s CVA (Cash and Voucher Assistance) launch in Rockville, Soweto, is to demonstrate how beneficiaries will be receiving their R 1 000 over the next two months. On behalf of SARCS, we wish to acknowledge our existing partners for the collaboration and coordination in responding to the needs of the communities that we serve.”

The South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) is a National Society that was established by an Act of Parliament in 1921 as an auxiliary to the Government in times of war and peace. The Act of 1921 and 2007 dictate that SARCS takes an active role in the improvement of health, and reduction of human suffering inflicted by both man-made and natural disasters.

The 55-year-old lady, Mapolo Thipanyane, from Rockville was thankful for the relief fund. “I am so grateful for this relief fund, it means a lot to me and my family,” added Thipanyane. Another recipient, Tebogo Mofolo, 20, from Molapo mentioned that since completing her matric last year she’s been staying alone. “This relief fund will go a long way in trying to resolve my financial problems. I’m really happy because not even my family can help me with such an amount,”concluded Mofolo.

Thapelo Magola Soweto Sunrise News