The United Kingdom and Australian governments this week provided additional humanitarian relief supplies to assist Fijians cope with the impacts of severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
Their latest assist include manpower, shelters, tool kits and educational materials.
They join a host of countries that have rallied together to assist the Fijian Government’s relief efforts in the northern and Eastern divisions which were hit hard by the category five system.
TC Yasa made landfall in Fiji on 17 December, killed at least four people, levelled homes and infrastructure and forced more than 23,000 people into evacuation centres.
UK humanitarian supplies include shelter and tool kits which will help 432 families. These supplies were delivered to Fiji by the Royal Australian Air Force under a humanitarian partnership agreement between the UK and Australia.
The UK also recently became a new core donor to the International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) which has already released initial emergency relief funds to provide urgent assistance including first aid, tarpaulins and shelter materials, safe water, household items and hygiene kits for 17,700 people.
“The UK government expresses its deepest sympathies to Fiji for the terrible impacts its people have suffered from Tropical Cyclone Yasa. Our thoughts are with the people of Fiji at this difficult time. Emergency shelter, provided by UK Aid, has begun to arrive thanks to logistical support from the Government of Australia. We stand ready to offer further assistance to the people of Fiji,” UK Minister for the Pacific Rt. Hon. Lord Goldsmith said.
The UK said it is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire ambitious climate action ahead of hosting the next UN Climate Change Conference, COP 26, in Glasgow in November 2021.
Furthermore, the Australian Government said it would provide $4.5 million in humanitarian relief. The package include building materials, tents, medical supplies, solar lighting and hygiene kits; education supplies to enable children to return to school and support for international and local NGOs and the Fiji Red Cross to aid their work with affected communities.
Australia has already sent emergency humanitarian supplies to Fiji on two RAAF C-17A Globemaster flights in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.
Two RAAF P-8A Poseidon aerial assessment missions have also provided the Fijian Government with an early picture of the scale of the damage caused by TC Yasa in remote locations. Imagery from the P-8A has been provided to the Fijian Government.
Additionally, the HMAS Adelaide, left Australia for Fiji yesterday carrying equipment and members of the Australian Army’s 6th Engineering Support Regiment from Brisbane to assist Fijian authorities to clear debris, and repair critical infrastructure and schools. Adelaide is expected to arrive in Fiji next week.
“I am grateful to the women and men of the ADF for their swift response to support our Pacific family at this time of year given how challenging 2020 has been and how much support the ADF has contributed already,” Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said.
“This year the Pacific region has endured catastrophic bushfires and tropical cyclones and the shared challenge of COVID-19, but we always emerge stronger, when we work together.
“Importantly, this humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort will be undertaken in accordance with COVIDSafe measures to ensure the safety of our Fijian vuvale.”