November 3, 2016

Revised November 4, 2016

Canadian Red Cross today released its 6 month donor report on Fort McMurray recovery efforts. Here's a quick run through of new developments in the 3 months from August-October 2016:

$20 million in donations from Canadians came in, bringing the total raised to $319 million.

Nearly 60% spent in 6 months: To date, Canadian Red Cross has spent an estimated $189 million. Canadian Red Cross reports spending $178 million before fundraising costs and allocations for future disaster response. These figures are not provided but the maximum would be $14 million based on Canadian Red Cross statements. Including the maximum would see total spending at 59% of total funding - leaving $130 million in funding for Fort McMurray's relief and recovery efforts.

$130 million left to spend. Canadian Red Cross has fully committed these remaining funds: $50 million for Canadian Red Cross programs supporting families and individuals, $43 million to local charities and community groups, $24 million to small businesses, and $12 million to Canadian Red Cross disaster preparedness. Of note, Canadian Red Cross reports add to the fine print that future committed funds will be re-assessed as needs emerge and the commitments made may be adjusted accordingly. 

In the 3-month period August-October 2016, total Canadian Red Cross program spending was $21 million. This breaks down as follows:

Canadian Red Cross programs $16 million:

  1. continuing to do one-to-one assessments to best meet individual needs. Canadian Red Cross has completed 13,310 client assessments.
  2. 9,000 families have received money to pay for temporary housing, rent, mortgage and utility payments.
  3. to better address wait-times, Canadian Red Cross has opened a second assessment centre in Fort McMurray.
  4. Canadian Red Cross staff and volunteers provided 71,561 hours of relief and recovery assistance.

Canadian Red Cross increased its commitment to support individuals and families with the $20 million in new donations coming in during the 3 months. This will likely be through support in rebuilding homes. This work will be through Canadian Red Cross's “collaboration with experts in the area of clean-up, repair and rehabilitation of homes”. The likely experts are Mennonite Disaster Services, Samaritan's Purse and Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo. No specific dollar amount has been committed to this area. The Fort McMurray fire destroyed 2,400 homes. 

Local charities and community groups: $1.5 million to 21 local organizations during this recovery period (average grant size $71,000) including reimbursing charities that provided emergency housing during the disaster evacuation period.

  1. Included in this funding category is an undisclosed amount to Alberta Teachers Association to help teachers restock classroom materials that were damaged in the fire. This provided classroom supplies to 7,100 students.
  2. To date, Canadian Red Cross has granted $7 million of its $50 million commitment made in June 2016 – 14%.

Small businesses: $1.5 million  Canadian Red Cross provided 3,296 small businesses with emergency financial aid. Total small business support to date is $3.4 million out of a promised $27.4 million – 12% of the commitment.

$1.3 million (estimated) in Canadian Red Cross fundraising costs and future preparedness. This figure is based CRC's statement that fundraising costs not exceed 5% of donations, and future preparedness is 1.5% of total revenues. Actual allocations have not yet been disclosed.

Detailed financial breakdown of funding and spending

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Kate Bahen

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