In the one month since the July floods in the east of Belgium, €35 million in donations have been received by the Belgian Red Cross, the organisation announced on Tuesday.
An action plan has now been drawn up according to the needs of the victims for the next eight months.
"€35 million is a record sum, a real solidarity fund that the Belgians have entrusted to the Belgian Red Cross," said Pierre Hublet, managing director of the French-speaking Belgian Red Cross.
All funds donated will be used during the next eight months to provide direct aid to the most vulnerable victims, to support the most affected municipalities and to meet priority needs, the organisation announced on Twitter.
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"Given the importance of what is at stake, we must use the amount of these donations in a responsible, well-thought-out and concerted manner," Hublet added.
"This is why, in barely a month, we have been able to establish a detailed analysis of the priority needs in the various disaster areas, while continuing the fieldwork and the emergency phase, in close collaboration with the local authorities and citizens' associations," he added.
To date, €2.3 million has been spent during the extreme emergency phase, primarily for basic aid (such as blankets, camp beds, emergency equipment, household appliances, and hygiene products) and food aid (10,000 meals per day distributed).
The Belgian Red Cross has now defined five large-scale projects for which the donations will be used: financial aid, the funding of local projects, food aid, accommodation, and back-to-school support.
These cover key areas identified by the organisation as needing assistance. An estimated 10,000 people will receive aid from the Belgian Red Cross, of which the measures taken will evolve according to the situation on the ground.
All Belgian Red Cross expenditure is checked each year by an independent external body, guaranteeing the proper use of the donations collected, meaning the donations received following the floods will be subjected to a specific report which will be made available to the general public.