Australian government to offer debt relief to people affected by drought
More than half of the country’s unemployed have had to take on debts because of the drought.
Key points:The government will provide temporary assistance and help pay for housing and food in the event of a severe droughtEmergency assistance programs are being rolled out to help those affected by the droughtEmergency drought relief programs will be rolled out across the country and will be aimed at people experiencing hardship or are unable to work because of droughtEmergency relief programs are currently being rolled on a voluntary basis, but a number of programs are now available to those who cannot work due to the droughtThe Federal Government is providing emergency assistance to people in the region in the hopes of easing the strain on social welfare and public assistance programs.
It’s a first for Australia, which has never offered relief to those affected as a whole.
It follows a similar program in Australia’s eastern states in 2016.
Emergency drought assistance programs have been rolled out in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
There are about 1.5 million Australians in regional and remote areas that are affected by severe drought.
In the Queensland area, 1,400 people have been declared emergency relief, with 1,200 of those being in the central and northern regions.
More than 200 people have also been issued emergency assistance in South Australia, with more than 200 in the north-east.
In Victoria, more than 1,000 people have had their emergency relief benefits withdrawn and more than 100 in the south-east have had relief withdrawn as well.
A spokesman for the Federal Government said it was looking to provide temporary help to people, and said those who are unable or unwilling to work would be able to apply for help from the emergency drought relief program.
Emergency assistance can also be provided to people who are in debt and are in need of help paying back their debtsEmergency drought program has been rolled-out across Australia and has been running since January.
More information on the drought can be found in the Federal Drought Action Plan and Emergency Drought Emergency Assistance.
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