“There are new developments every day and we are determining how best to help those who have lost everything. The Order is tackling this dramatic situation from a national perspective.” John Murphy, Hospitaller of the Order of Malta’s Australian Association, explains how they are assisting victims of the bushfires which have been raging for months, destroying millions of acres of land, houses, infrastructure and claiming many lives.
“The Order of Malta in Australia is responding to the immediate needs of the affected communities in various areas on the east and south coasts. Together with some local parishes, on the south coast of New South Wales we have managed to offer direct assistance to the many people who have lost their homes and in Victoria we have provided food vouchers,” the Hospitaller explains.
In the areas directly impacted by the bushfires that have brought many parts of Australia to its knees, it can be difficult to find cash and credit cards are often unreliable because of technological blackouts. Families who have seen their homes destroyed will feel the effects of this tragedy for many years to come, in both psychological and material terms.
“The Order’s members in the central and eastern regions of south Australia are working in close contact with the authorities and assistance packages for the Adelaide archdiocese will soon be announced,” John Murphy adds.
Besides distributing food and fuel, the Order’s members are organizing spiritual support as a sign of solidarity and sharing.
When launching a fund-raising appeal a few days ago, the Hospitaller said $50,000 had already been committed to fund food vouchers.