Organisations and community groups which help feed and shelter the homeless, support disabled people and help keep families safe from domestic violence will get a $27 million boost.
Effective immediately, the package is to ensure the essential social sector services can keep working through the four-week Covid-19 lockdown.
The package supports services that:
• Ensure people have access to the food and other goods they need to survive
• Provide a place for people to live
• Support disabled people to maintain critical wellbeing
• Keep families safe from harm and offer crisis support
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Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said the non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and community groups delivered an essential service.
"They are supporting New Zealanders to stay well during our fight to break the chain of transmission of the virus, which will save lives."
Among these organisations were those dedicated to help women and families that are victims of domestic violence.
Sepuloni said self-isolation could also mean the risk of family violence increases.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said earlier this week that police were very aware of the likely increase in domestic violence incidents and said it was at the top of their priority list.
"That's why we are making sure family violence and sexual violence services will remain available for those in need," Sepuloni said.
"As has been the case in countries around the world battling the global pandemic, there have been significant increases in the demand for these essential social sector services.
The NGOs and community groups had all changed the way they worked in order to adhere to the alert level 4 physical distancing protocols for its workers, Sepuloni said.
Specifics of the $27 million social sector package:
• Up to $16 million is to bolster existing services delivered by NGOs to support at risk people through uncertain circumstances and respond to increased demand
• Up to $6 million funding for disability providers so they can manage health risks and provide support for disabled people in lock-down
• Up to $4.8 million for community grants or to fund innovative community-led solutions to support local resilience
DO YOU NEED HELP?
If you're in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz