New Zealand High Commission Suva, Fiji

Australia and New Zealand work together to support cyclone recovery in Fiji

RNZAF assistance during cyclone Tomas

Press Release

Australia and New Zealand work together to support cyclone recovery in Fiji

12 May 2010 - New Zealand and Australia are working together to continue to assist the people of Fiji to rebuild damaged homes, schools and health centres affected by Tropical Cyclone Tomas.

The cyclone caused significant damage to homes, schools and health facilities when it struck Fiji from 14 to 16 March, directly affecting over 39,000 people.

Reports indicate that more than 500 homes were destroyed and over 1000 sustained damage. Around 25 health facilities and 15 schools were heavily damaged.

Australian Acting High Commissioner Ms Sarah Roberts said that “Australia will now contribute a further A$1 million to help Fiji with the reconstruction efforts following Cyclone Tomas, to rebuild and repair heavily damaged schools, and support the repair of health centres damaged by the cyclone”.

This funding is in addition to the A$1 million previously announced by the Hon Stephen Smith MP, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on 17 March and brings Australia’s total contribution to A$2 million to help Fiji following Cyclone Tomas.

“As part of the NZ$1 million package pledged by New Zealand Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully on 17 March, New Zealand will contribute NZ$600,000 for the rebuilding and repair of homes,” said New Zealand’s Acting Head of Mission, Mr Phillip Taula.

The reconstruction and repair work to schools and houses will be undertaken by Habitat for Humanity Fiji, while repairs to health centres will be facilitated by the Australian-funded Fiji Health Sector Improvement Program.

Habitat for Humanity Fiji has a track record of successful delivery of house reconstruction and cyclone proofing following the January 2009 floods and will work with the Fiji authorities on the design of the new buildings to ensure they are appropriate for local communities.

Australia and New Zealand’s continued support to relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Tomas is a further expression of the commitment of both countries to helping the people of Fiji.

Immediately following the cyclone, New Zealand and Australia provided emergency relief supplies to Fiji to help people affected by the cyclone.

Supplies included tents, tarpaulins, water containers and water purification tablets. Australia and New Zealand also gave a combined contribution of FJ$500,000 to the Fiji Red Cross to replenish their emergency relief stocks, to be ready for any future disasters.

Australia and New Zealand also each sent a C-130 Hercules to Fiji to deliver the emergency relief supplies and conduct aerial surveys of affected areas.

Media contacts

Phillip Taula
Acting Head of Mission
New Zealand High Commission
Phone: +679 331 1775

Timothy Wilcox
Second Secretary (Development Cooperation)
Australian High Commission
Ph. +679 3388 281

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