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Thu 9 Jan 2020 08:11 PM

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UAE residents can now donate online to the Australia bushfire campaign

Online campaign is being run by the Emirates Red Crescent and supported by Expo 2020 Dubai

UAE residents can now donate online to the Australia bushfire campaign
LAKE TABOURIE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 04: Residents look on as flames burn through bush on January 04, 2020 in Lake Tabourie, Australia. A state of emergency has been declared across NSW with dangerous fire conditions forecast for Saturday, as more than 140 bushfires continue to burn. There have been eight confirmed deaths in NSW since Monday 30 December. 1365 homes have been lost, while 3.6 million hectares have been burnt this fire season. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Residents in the United Arab Emirates can now donate money to a relief fund to help support those affected by the bushfires which have devasted Australia in recent weeks.

The donations campaign was this week approved by UAE authorities and the is being run by the Emirates Red Crescent, with the support the Expo 2020 Dubai, Kate Midttun, chairperson of the Australian Business Group in the UAE, told Arabian Business on Thursday.

Residents can make donations towards the bushfire cause by clicking here on the Emirates Red Crescent website and logging their donations under the MATES HELP MATES campaign.

Midttun also said that an event would be held over the weekend to help encourage donations to the campaign fund.

Earlier this week, she described how the response from the region to the devastating impact of the bushfires in her home country had been “pretty immense”, even before the official donation website had been set up.

Since late September, over two dozen people have died in the bushfires which have swept across south-eastern Australia. More than 2,000 buildings have been destroyed and an area roughly twice the size of Belgium or Hawaii has been burned.

The death toll for Australia's wildlife is estimated to be nearly have half a billion in just New South Wales alone, according to a University of Sydney study. Experts fear the loss of animal life could be much higher than the estimates.

“I don’t think people understand just how big it is. When you think back to last year and what happened in the Amazon, that was pretty horrible in itself and it was two million acres – Australia has already lost 12 million acres, which is six times more,” Midttun said.

UAE animal-lovers can also donate through YallaGive, an online fundraising platform in the Middle East, which has launched a fundraising campaign in the MENA region to help rescue wildlife from Australian bushfires, in collaboration with Emirates Nature-WWF and Aussie-themed sports bar Bidi Bondi.

Founder and CEO of YallaGive, Abdulla Al Nuaimi, said on Thursday: “I am very grateful that the people in the UAE, especially the Australian community, have the opportunity to send their support and donations, legally through YallaGive, to the areas affected by this devastating event which is concerning all of us.”

YallaGive is one of the finalists of the Expo Live Innovation Impact Programme and was rewarded with a grant to help grow the start-up. To support the campaign, click here.