Thursday, January 20, 2022

$6 million emergency support for asylum seekers during Covid

Asylum seekers in NSW who need emergency support during the current COVID-19 pandemic will be the focus of a $6 million funding boost by the NSW Government.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the money would be used to help organisations with direct links to temporary visa holders to provide urgent relief including food, housing, medical care and other essentials.

“We know that temporary visa holders, particularly asylum seekers, have become increasingly vulnerable during the pandemic,” Mrs Ward said.

“The NSW Government recognises urgent support is needed and this funding represents an emergency safety net for members of our community who may be on the brink of homelessness and financial destitution.”

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The funding will be available to non-Government organisations (NGOs) who can deliver immediate help, such as providing food, supporting clients to access medical care, including mental health care, and helping them meet rental payments.

NSW Coordinator General for Settlement, Professor Peter Shergold AC, said the funding would be targeted where it is needed most.

“Specialist migrant and settlement NGOs working on the ground have experienced a sharp rise in the number of temporary visa holders they need to support with emergency relief,” Professor Shergold said.

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“This money will directly address the urgent needs of vulnerable temporary visa holders – mainly asylum seekers – in our community who are experiencing great hardship right now.”

The funding is in addition to a $6 million NSW Government crisis package provided from June 2020 to support temporary visa holders, including asylum seekers, which finished last month.

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The funding will be administered by Multicultural NSW. For more information about Multicultural NSW: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/

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