Australian fires leave tens of thousands in financial hardship and stress
17 January 2020
Around the world, the universal outcome of climate-change related disasters is that those who can least afford it—the working class and the poor—suffer the greatest and longest-term impact. The fires that have burnt through large areas of Australia since October have most severely affected low-income workers and welfare recipients, self-employed contractors, small-business owners and family farmers who were already struggling to make ends meet. The recovery measures being provided by the federal and state governments, and the assistance from charities, offer only short-term relief.
Losses are already devastating. At least 28 people have lost their lives nationally, including four volunteer firefighters. Thousands more have been injured, traumatised or forced to seek emergency treatment for respiratory conditions aggravated or caused by the toxic smoke blanketing large areas of the country.
Some 11 million hectares have gone up in flames, including hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime farmland,…
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