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Why have Grenfell residents still not received any donations? Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

Why have Grenfell residents still not received any donations?

Nearly £3 million was raised for the survivors of the fire [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 June, 2017

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A spokesperson for the donation website JustGiving said they were prioritising the release of emergency funds on Monday, the day after the local council was removed from the response management.
The vast majority of nearly £3 million ($3.5 million) donations given to the Grenfell fire victims has not yet been distributed.

A spokesperson for JustGiving, the website most commonly used to donate money to the victims, told The New Arab they intended to start processing distribution by Monday evening, but could not guarantee payment by this time.

"We are working with the over 800 individual crowdfunders to find the best way to release funds to them as quickly as possible," a JustGiving spokesperson said.

"We are also offering any assistance we can give to the charity appeals such as London Community Fund and Kensington & Chelsea Fund on the ground who are managing the formal distribution of emergency relief."

JustGiving hopes to have contacted all of the crowdfunding page organisers by the end of the day to discuss their plans.

The Chelsea and Kensington Fund said in a press release on Sunday that it was giving out charity via distribution centres at the Rugby Portobello Trust, Clement James Centre, Venture Community Association, The Harrow Club and Westway Trust.

Yet one local resident, who is in contact with a number of the Grenfell families, told The New Arab that some families had been forced to beg the local council for money.

"The council is only currently giving out £500 a head for emergency funds and people need to prove they need the money," said Sameera Donatzai.

The Kensington and Chelsea Council was removed from managing the disaster response on Sunday and replaced with a specialist group of council chief executives, called 'Gold Command'.

"This new team is now leading the recovery and response to the Grenfell Tower fire," Eleanor Kelly, chief executive of Southwark council, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the National Zakat Charity's work was also commended on Monday, after a number of reports revealed they had been the only charity to distribute charity directly to the victims at their hotels.

On Friday, the PM announced a £5 million emergency fund to assist the residents of the now-charred Grenfell Tower, shortly after meeting survivors for the first time in Downing Street.

But some community members have criticised the government's response saying it was not enough.

"We've raised more than that as a community," one anonymous man told the BBC.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, accepted on Sunday that the government's initial response had been inadequate, adding that more would be done to help the victims of Wednesday's fire.

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