Australia provides $5m package to assist Fiji
Report by: Sainiani Boila
The Australian government is providing an initial $5 million package of assistance to Fiji in an immediate response to the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Australian Foreign Minister Hon Julie Bishop says the package will support those in greatest need, facilitating the rapid release of pre-positioned stores and food items to assist people who remain in evacuation centres or who have been displaced due to the cyclone.
She says the stores will ensure communities have access to safe drinking water and basic hygiene for those who have lost their houses or are displaced.
Australia has also offered P3 Orion aircraft to Fiji to assist with aerial surveillance of affected areas.Australia has also offered MRH-90 helicopters to assist Fiji to carry out assessments and provide relief to the outlying islands affected by the Cyclone.
Supporting the assessment efforts are two Australian Civilian Corp specialists working alongside Fijian colleagues in the National Disaster Management Office.
The Australian government is also working in partnership with the Government of Fiji and with the Fiji Red Cross Society, UN agencies and NGOs.
Australia is in close cooperation with New Zealand and France through FRANZ trilateral disaster relief arrangement.
We are also working with the Pacific Island Forum members as they identify where assistance is required.
Bishop says the Australian Government is ready to provide further assistance to support Fiji’s relief and recovery efforts.
Bishop commended the Government of Fiji for the preparedness measures in place to protect Fiji citizens and limit the damage.
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