Govt approves further $30m to meet immediate welfare and food security needs

The Government has approved a further $30 million support package to bolster the delivery of food and welfare assistance by local authorities and Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups to those who need it the most as New Zealand fights COVID-19.

“We are aware of the urgent need for those who require immediate assistance and as a Government are committed to meet it,” Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said.

“Today’s package will:

  • Bolster the organisation of food parcels, and other household goods and services to people who contact the CDEM Group and meet the relevant criteria
  • Provide upfront funding to, or reimbursement of, local foodbanks, community food organisations and other welfare providers, to enable them to provide food and other essential household items to people who contact them directly
  • Help to fund emergency accommodation, until temporary accommodation can be arranged through MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service or other arrangements

“This additional funding will ensure local authorities and CDEM Groups will be well placed to increase immediate COVID-19 related welfare support needs through multiple channels.

“We made an initial $27 million investment on 26 March to immediately assist NGOs and community groups to deliver services and support to vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

“Whānau Ora has also delivered over 118,000 care and hygiene packages to date.

“Moving to Alert Level 3 next Tuesday is the best decision for lives and livelihoods and New Zealanders have helped us get there. In turn we will support those who need assistance,” Peeni Henare said.

The National Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry for Social Development are working together to support CDEM Groups to implement this package.

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