ANA raises funds to help wildfire relief efforts in Australia
Humanity rallying in the face of adversity is a heart-warming reminder of hope, togetherness and the promise of tomorrow. While it is regrettable how conflict and disaster can be politicised sometimes, witnessing how we rise above all the ignorance and hate is inspiring.
The relief efforts for the current Australian wildfires is one great example.
Since December last year, the world has mobilised and pooled their resources - funds, time and empathy - to come up with creative and effective ways to support relief efforts.
ANA HOLDINGS INC. (ANA HD) has also chipped in by donating AUD20,000 to the Australian Red Cross as a sign of support. On top of that, a portion of the sales from ANA travel packages will be donated to other relief organizations, while collections from donation boxes placed at ANA check-in counters in Perth and Sydney International Airports will be donated to WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc).
Bringing people together has been a key value for ANA (All Nippon Airways). Their donation to the Australian Red Cross is timely, as they have strengthened their relief efforts and started disbursing their funding support while the Red Cross have doubled on their emergency cash grants to AUD10,000 for folks who lost their homes. Over 500 grants have been approved thus far - these grants and payments supplemented by the generosity of the Australian and global community. Since the fires escalated, over AUD95 million have been received by the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery team.
Wildfires and bushfires are a regular seasonal occurrence in Australia, but the current fires are the worst that the country has witnessed since 2009.
The 2019-20 Australia bushfire crisis commenced around June last year with serious uncontrolled fires in South East Australia, severely affecting New South Wales and Victoria. In New South Wales, the fires escalated in September whereas the fires in Victoria emerged in December, both ravaging the wild and populated areas. Hundreds of fires and megafires are still burning as of today.
At least 18.6 million hectares were razed, over 5,900 buildings (including 2,779 homes) destroyed and at least 34 lives have been lost. An estimated half a billion animals have been killed and some endangered species may have been driven to extinction. Air quality has dropped to hazardous levels, spreading to the entire East Coast. By 7 January 2020, the smoke had moved approximately 11,000 kilometres across the South Pacific Ocean to Chile and Argentina.
To put things into perspective, the 2019 Amazon rainforest fires not so long ago burned more than 7 million hectares, according to Brazillian officials.
In New South Wales, where 2 million hectares were burnt, about 800,000 of them so far are within national parks. This equates to around 11 percent of NSW's 7.2 million hectares of national parks. A large chunk of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area was impacted, including the Echo Point lookout, which overlooks th Three Sisters, the Kanangra-Boyd National Park and Howes Trail.
In Kangaroo Island, two people have lost their lives after getting caught in the fire while driving. Flinders Chase National Park - home to kangaroos, koalas and echidnas - is almost totally destroyed. Devastating conditions overnight helped the inferno rip through the island’s Flinders Chase National Park, burning over 1,000 square kilometres.
Seeing such a huge scale of disaster, it’s no surprise how it has caused individuals and communities around the world to contribute to the relief efforts. The Australian wildfires witnessed numerous high-net worth individuals and celebrities, communities, and groups coming together to pour their resources into helping the relief efforts. Contributions from personal wealth to corporate banks and companies,to government resources via firefighters and rescue troops, all flooded in to help extinguish the flames of sadness that is raging throughout Australia. Tremendous compassion from near and far across all walks of life have been a boon in assisting locals in dealing with this fiery disaster and its aftermath.