JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour and the nonprofit Volunteer USA Foundation announced the establishment of the National Disaster Recovery Fund to benefit states and communities who suffer long-term losses from a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood or tornado.
Governors from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi are supporting the work of the Fund as a way to supplement state and local relief efforts when a disaster strikes.
The National Disaster Recovery Fund will operate specifically for the purpose of providing resources for long-term recovery – it will not take the place of immediate relief efforts already provided by existing organizations.
Barbour said. “There’s a lot more flexibility in working with nonprofit organizations than going through government bureaucracies, and in many cases, these nonprofit groups are in the affected community already, so they know the people and know the situation.”
Chairing the Fund is Bill Simon, president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush serves as honorary chair.
The National Fund will provide long-standing support by working with state leaders and contracting with trusted nonprofits in local communities. These nonprofits will determine how and where long-term recovery dollars are needed most and engage volunteer and faith-based organizations skilled in the areas of rebuilding and recovery.