Victims of Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando awarded almost $8.5m support grant

Harriet Sinclair
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An almost $8.5m (£6.9m) anti-terrorism grant as been awarded to the victims and families of those affected by the terror attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The deadliest mass shooting in recent US history saw 49 people killed and 50 more injured when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the busy club on 12 June 2016.

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The $8,466,970 funding, announced by the US Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is intended to provide support to victims, their loved ones and communities affected by the attack, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

"We continue to mourn those who were taken from us that awful day, and we admire the resilience of the great city of Orlando," Sessions said in a statement.

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"With this grant, we reaffirm the Justice Department's commitment to the people of Orlando, the families of the victims and all who are helping those affected by this heinous crime."

The grant is reportedly intended to provide 27 months of services, the Orlando Sentinel reported, while some of the money has been spent and some will reimburse the costs of the United Assistance Centre set up in the wake of the shooting.

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"OVC is committed to assisting the recovery, healing and justice for all victims of crime and this award will help to provide much needed support, emotionally and financially, as they continue to heal," added Acting OVC Director Marilyn McCoy Roberts.

"This award will reimburse victim services costs for operation of the Family Assistance Center in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and ensure that victims, witnesses and first responders receive necessary services to help them adjust in the aftermath of violence, begin the healing process and cope with probable re-traumatisation."

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