Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia welcomes the Berejiklian Government’s provision of support for temporary migrants, including people seeking asylum in NSW.
Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said that the NSW government would provide $6 million in funding to ensure that the most vulnerable temporary visa holders in the State, including victims of domestic violence have access to food, medicine, and housing.
This allocation of funding is in addition to $20 million in temporary crisis accommodation for international students in need.
Dr Lee also acknowledged multicultural community leaders and organisations, and specialist migrant and settlement NGOs for “showing immense leadership during this time.”
In the last two months alone, JRS Australia has seen a 224% increase in demand for our services, and has delivered food parcels to 3,800 people with the support of schools, parishes, religious congregations, businesses, and community partners.
JRS Australia Director, Carolina Gottardo, said “yesterday’s announcement from Minister Lee is a significant development for people seeking protection who have lost jobs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, have no access to any Federal Government support, and cannot return home because they fled persecution.”
“The Berejiklian Government has shown real leadership in ensuring that women, children, and men who for so long have lived, worked, studied, prayed, and paid taxes in Australia are not left behind in their hour of need,” said Gottardo
“State Governments have only had to step in because the Federal Government has thus far excluded people seeking asylum, and migrants in vulnerable situations from its COVID-19 response. Ultimately, our national leaders cannot ignore the reality that we have been facing a humanitarian crisis and hundreds of thousands of people in Australia are at risk of destitution and homelessness because of their policies,” Ms. Gottardo continued.
JRS Australia also acknowledges the remarkable collective efforts of people seeking asylum, diaspora communities, parishioners, church leaders, NGO partners, peak bodies, and advocates in keeping this issue on the agenda and ensuring nobody left behind.
Media comment – Carolina Gottardo, 0414 880 625
To read the full media release from Minister Geoff Lee, click here