NSW Government Supporting Multicultural Communities through COVID-19

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Geoff Lee-Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans

Help is on its way to the most vulnerable people affected by COVID-19, with the NSW Government providing over $6 million for our multicultural communities including migrants and temporary visa holders.

Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee said it’s vital these people are given the urgent help they need.

“The NSW Government is determined to ensure we support our most vulnerable by providing funding for essentials like food and medicine,” Mr Lee said.

“Temporary visa holders, including refugees and asylum seekers, have become increasingly vulnerable during COVID-19 and they don’t qualify for any of the support packages announced by the Commonwealth Government.”

The NSW Government will distribute funding to specialist migrant and settlement NGOs, and multicultural community organisations who are providing basic support to vulnerable people including domestic violence victims.

“Our multicultural community leaders and organisations, and specialist migrant and settlement NGOs have shown immense leadership during this time, and I thank them for the work they have been doing to support our communities,” Mr Lee said.

NSW Coordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement Peter Shergold said this important funding boost will give immediate help to communities most in need.

“I’m proud to work for a Government that has stepped up in a time of crisis to support the frontline community organisations that are bearing the brunt of providing emergency relief,” Professor Shergold said.

“People who have lost their jobs, many of whom receive no assistance from the Commonwealth Government are in desperate circumstances right now.”

“This financial lifeline will enable non-profit charities to keep helping some of our most vulnerable residents with food, medicines and housing assistance until they are able to get back on their feet. It’s an investment both in civil society and the future of NSW.”

Peter Doukas, Chair of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW welcomed the funding announcement.

“We agree with the government that the COVID-19 crisis extends far beyond healthcare and that the long road to recovery will begin by supporting those most in need,” Mr Doukas said.

This funding is in addition to the $20 million temporary crisis accommodation for stranded international students the NSW Government announced earlier this month.