More than a band-aid
Emergency relief in Victoria
Produced in partnership with CISVic.
The Victorian emergency relief sector provides vital financial and material aid to people in need.
Emergency relief can take many forms, including bill payment, vouchers, clothes, furniture and food. It is often supplemented with broader support and referral to other services.
The coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions in 2020 and 2021 imposed a significant toll on the health and wellbeing of a vast range of Victorians.
As a result, many Victorians sought emergency relief for the first time, leaving emergency relief organisations facing overwhelming demand.
The pandemic has highlighted the critical role the emergency relief sector plays in supporting the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable Victorians, and the role it plays in supporting a range of Victorians during a disaster or crisis. But it also exposed the sector’s fragility.
This report, drawn from existing research and consultation with emergency relief organisations, provides an overview of the emergency relief sector in Victoria.
It examines the impacts of the pandemic on the emergency relief sector, and on demand and provision of food relief – as well as the policy responses we’ve seen from both the Federal and Victorian Government.
Finally, the report provides a range of recommendations for both the Federal and Victorian Government to help prevent people falling into financial crisis, and to strengthen the emergency relief sector for the benefit of those who do.
More must be done to meet the growing demand for emergency food relief across Victoria