The Red Cross is substantially scaling up emergency aid in the Netherlands, as the demand for aid is increasing during the second coronage wave. In addition to providing food for those in need, the organisation will help municipalities in the coming winter months to take care of the homeless. Health care institutions and LGDs can also ask for extra help, according to the Red Cross on Monday. For this, the organisation wants to raise EUR 48 million.
The Red Cross is seeing a growing demand for help in the areas of food, medical support, shelter and psychosocial assistance.
More and more people are struggling to feed themselves and their household. In the second wave, the Red Cross saw the food shortage double. The organisation currently provides food to over 3,000 people a week. These are people who are not eligible for aid from other organisations, such as food banks, who, according to the Red Cross, ‘must increasingly sell no to people who need food aid’ because of a lack of money.
The number of applications for medical assistance is increasing due to staff shortages in the care sector.
“Health care institutions need extra hands and as a Red Cross we play a role in the GGDS with testing and with source and contact Research,” says a spokesman in an explanatory statement.
With the arrival of the winter due to lack of space, the organisation also expects problems at the homeless shelter. Although shelters for homeless people will soon open in the winter, “they are not equipped to keep 1.5 metres away”. At present, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), there are around 40,000 homeless people in the Netherlands.
Red Cross: ‘we see the crisis hitting large groups hard’
“We are in the middle of the second coronac wave, and we see that people are losing jobs, having too little to eat and sometimes not even have a roof over their heads,” says Red Cross director Marieke van Schaik. “We see not only that the coronacrisis lasts for a long time, but also that the consequences of the crisis are hitting large groups hard. That is why we substantially scaled up our aid.”
The Red Cross Helpline has had over 24,000 calls since its inception in March. “In the summer it was a little less, but now that people are more quarantined and lonely, we also get more calls,” says the spokesman. “And after the press conference announcing the partial lockdown, we saw a spike of up to 200 bells a day.”
The Red Cross depends on donations. Previously, giro 7244 opened up to raise money for food aid. So far, nearly EUR 900,000 have been transferred. From Monday, giro 7244 can also be donated for medical support, shelter and psychosocial assistance. The Red Cross expects to be required to provide this aid until May 2021. It is estimated that the organisation will need EUR 48 million for this.