An Australian businessman has donated $70 million to the bushfire relief efforts.
The fires which have been raging since September have killed an estimated half a billion animals and, as per the Daily Mail, 25 people. However, both of these numbers are rising and the death toll for animals is expected to be over a billion, USA Today reports.
While people around the world, especially those in Australia itself, are working tirelessly to help, with some even taking up sewing in a bid to help the animal victims, the situation remains bleak and a state of national emergency has been declared.Australia declares a state of emergency:
A number of high profile celebrities have now been donating to the cause, with Elton John and Kylie Jenner offering up $1 million - although the latter was arguably prompted only by backlash over an Instagram post.
The businessman who made what is believed to be the biggest donation to the relief efforts so far is Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest. As per ABC, he will be using his Minderoo Foundation to distribute the funds so that they have the most effective impact possible.This heart-wrenching video shows a desperate koala guzzling down water from a cyclist:
Fifty million dollars will be used to create a "national blueprint" which will establish the best practices to deal with future bushfire crises.
This year's tragedy, for many climatologists, is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is possible in a world that is slowly but surely being ravaged by global warming. In fact, the problem was actually predicted by Dr. Tom Beer way back in 1987, the Guardian reports.
Pictured below are the bushfires sweeping through Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island.
Meanwhile, 20 million dollars of Forrest's donation will be used to establish a volunteer army. He also plans to deploy 1,200 people from the mining and agriculture sectors to some of the communities already affected by the disaster.
Forrest said: "With incredible courage and determination, Australians have united to help those devastated by these bushfires. We recognize that we don't have all the answers, but we want to understand what communities need and do our bit to help them."
How you can donate:
The NSW Rural Fire Service has multiple options for direct donations. You can donate to the RFS as a whole, or to specific brigades. You can donate through bank transfer, credit card or cheque.
For bank transfers, there is a set bank account (Account Name: NSW Rural Fire Service, BSB: 032-001, Account No: 171051). This account is for the RFS as a whole.
This link will take you to the landing page for credit card donations. You can donate to the RFS general fund or choose specific brigades from the dropdown box.
In Queensland, Fire and Rescue advise that you can donate both money and items through the website givit.org.au. The website allows fire-affected communities to list what they specifically need, from water tanks in Yeppoon to school uniforms in Zillmere.
In Victoria, the Country Fire Authority has two bank accounts - one for specific brigades and one for the general fund.
If you cannot find the particular brigade you are looking for, you can contact them directly.