Fiji Red Cross has just concluded a successful two-day meeting on its Tropical Cyclone Winston operation, with a commitment from Red Cross Movement partners to a year-long emergency plan of action.
Fiji Red Cross aims to help 65,000 people over the next year with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other external partners.
Director General of Fiji Red Cross Filipe Nainoca says the meeting has enabled all those involved in the cyclone response to harmonize their contributions.
“Working collaboratively and strengthening our partnerships and cooperation will ensure the needs of affected communities are properly addressed. It also means the long term strategic goals of Fiji Red Cross are taken into account,” Mr Nainoca said.
The Fiji Red Cross plan focuses on supporting households with immediate relief needs and emergency shelter. Support to longer term recovery will soon begin through an integrated programme including health education, water, sanitation, hygiene promotion and safe shelter. There will also be a focus on livelihoods, community preparedness and disaster risk reduction.
Mr Nainoca said the Fiji Red Cross had already received approximately 1.6 million FJD (USD 774,000 Euros 687,000) worth of emergency aid was received from partners and distributed to affected communities.
Head of IFRC’s Suva office, Kathryn Clarkson said it was heartening to see so many partners working together to support Fiji Red Cross.
“We are very proud of how quickly Fiji Red Cross responded to this disaster. Much of that is due to its strong and extensive network of volunteers and its disaster preparedness work,” she said.
“IFRC has launched an appeal for 7 million Swiss francs (USD 7.2 million, Euros 6.4 million), to assist 50,000 of those affected by the cyclone. The appeal is only 37 per cent covered and we are seeking additional contributions so that Fiji Red Cross can meet the extensive recovery needs that still exist.”
So far Fiji Red Cross has assisted more than 10,000 households which represents more than 50,000 people. About 250 staff and volunteers from 15 Red Cross branches are supporting people in the affected areas.
The meeting was also attended by external partners, including the Fiji Government, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of UN agencies, and other humanitarian organizations.