New Zealand Red Cross is scaling up at speed to address the urgent needs of people on temporary visas in Aotearoa New Zealand who are experiencing serious hardship due to COVID-19.

From 1 July, people who are in need and on temporary visas can check their eligibility and apply through www.foreignnationals.services.govt.nz. The programme will run for three months.

Working with Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, who is managing the New Zealand Government’s Foreign Nationals Impacted by COVID-19 Programme (known by New Zealand Red Cross as ‘Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri’), New Zealand Red Cross will deliver in-kind assistance to help foreign nationals meet basic needs, such as food and accommodation.

“We know that this in-kind, individualised, temporary assistance will meet a real and urgent humanitarian need in Aotearoa. These are visitors in our home who we are pleased to work with Te Tari Taiwhenua to provide assistance to quickly, simply and with care,” says Rachel O’Connor, Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri Project Lead for New Zealand Red Cross.

Internal Affairs is administering the online system and processing applications. New Zealand Red Cross is delivering the assistance.

New Zealand Red Cross support will include needs assessments, local distribution of in-kind aid, psychosocial support, and engaging the community to ensure that our support is reaching the people who are eligible and most in need.

New Zealand Red Cross believes in humanity and impartiality, and in providing support that is based on need and focused on upholding the dignity of the people we work with. As with everything New Zealand Red Cross does, the support New Zealand Red Cross provides will align with our Fundamental Principles.

For more than a century Red Cross has been at work in Aotearoa New Zealand, working with diverse Kiwi communities every day, in times of crisis and when disaster strikes. New Zealand Red Cross is intrinsically connected to local communities and knows that these relationships, including with other not-for-profit agencies, councils and Civil Defence groups, will enable this support to reach the people who are in need.

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