By 3 News online staff
About $37 million remains available to be handed to efforts to help rebuild Christchurch after the February 2011 earthquake.
The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust says it has given $47.26m of the $100.73m raised in the Government's official global fundraiser since February 27, 2011.
Dr Rod Carr, one of the Appeal’s three trustees, says a new environmental project will be the focus of an upcoming grant.
The Trust has funded 125 projects since its inception, but this will be the first to focus on the environment.
The lack of environmental funding comes down to timing, according to Dr Carr.
“It’s not because of a lack of need, there have just been more urgent needs to attend to in the time being,” he says.
Other grants have gone to initiatives in heritage and culture, sport and recreation, spirituality and faith, economic revitalisation and education.
A further $53.47m remains, but $14m is already pledged to specific projects, leaving $37m still to be allocated.
The community will help decide where the remaining money is spent.
Dr Carr says community groups can continue to submit ideas and projects to the Trust.
“It was not designed to work to the needs to central Government, local Government or to pander to insurers; it was designed to help those who had been adversely affected by the earthquake,” he says.
“There was a genuine sense of earthquake related need, when you looked at why the donors gave their money and who it was intended for”.
The total funds were raised through donations from families, individuals, clubs, businesses, governments and leaders from around the world.
Trustees are hoping to allocate all of the funds by mid-2014. Community organisations keen to submit a project can call the Trust’s freephone number, 0800 448 444.
3 News / NZN