New Zealand Red Cross recovery manager Michael Donoghue says that Red Cross remains committed to responding to the needs of people affected by the earthquakes.

“The Canterbury recovery needs to be led by our community, for our community and these grants will enable this to happen.

“We have been inundated with applications from vibrant, hardworking and committed community organisations. These organisations will be rolling out some great initiatives over the next two years that will significantly benefit our communities at a grass-roots level.

“We would also like to extend a huge thank you to all our donors and community partners who have made these grants possible,” Mr Donoghue says.

To be eligible for the community-led recovery grants programme, applicants needed to be operating at a community level, in a recovery context and undertaking activities and projects with tangible, measurable benefits to the community.

Of the $2 million available, 57% has been distributed to community groups in the eastern suburbs, 27% to metropolitan Greater Christchurch, 9% to western suburbs and 7% to the Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts.

Thirty percent of the funds have been directed at organisations working with youth and children, 10% to groups working with the elderly, and 18% to community workers involved in earthquake recovery projects. The remaining funds are spread across a range of community initiatives and programs.