Australia fires: Belgian WWF launches fundraising campaign to fight ‘ecological disaster’
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    Australia fires: Belgian WWF launches fundraising campaign to fight ‘ecological disaster’

    At least 24 people have lost their lives in the bushfires that are continuing to devastate Australia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

    The Belgian branch of the World Wildlife Fund has launched a fundraising campaign on its website to raise money to fight against the “ecological disaster” currently devastating the Australia, the nature protection organisation confirmed on Tuesday.

    “Together, we will donate the money raised to WWF Australia,” WWF Belgium spokesperson, Koen Stuyck, told Belga news agency.

    “It will then be up to WWF Australia to identify the most urgent needs for which the money can be used. It will probably be a combination of several things, such as shelters for affected animals. According to a rough estimate, 500 million animals have already died or been burned,” Stuyck added.

    Although no official request for help has been received from Australia, WWF is convinced that it is still important to raise money.

    “You might think Australia is a Western country that doesn’t need our help, but this is an ecological disaster and we see that the Australian government is not taking many initiatives that take this [reality] into account. The Australian government is made up of openly climate-sceptical people,” Stuyck explained.

    Following the launch of a Facebook appeal on Friday by Australian comedian Celeste Barber, more than $13 million has been raised and will go towards fire services in New South Wales. This comes in addition to various other fundraising campaigns, as well as donations from celebrities, including Nicole Kidman and Pink, the BBC explains.

    Almost 200 fires are still burning across the country. At least 24 people have died since the fires began in September.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times