Humanitarian Relief in the Wake of Cyclone Winston
By admin March 17, 2016



Last month, Cyclone Winston wreaked havoc throughout the South Pacific, reaching wind speeds of up to 285 km/h (180 mph), killing at least 44 people, and causing over $250 million (USD) in damage. It is the strongest storm ever recorded to have hit the Fijian islands, and it is the deadliest storm to have hit the nation since 1979. The storm also caused significant damage to the nation of Tonga.

The government of Fiji enforced state-mandated curfew due to the storm as it damaged and destroyed thousands of homes, especially in the western and northern parts of Fiji. Help was not immediately accessible due to fallen trees, debris, and electric poles crowding blocking roadways as well as flooding. Remote communities have been among the hardest hit and are also those that will take more time to provide relief due to accessibility issues. People still remain in emergency shelters while businesses remain closed and crops remain damaged. Emergency workers have been assessing the needs of the communities as they go forth providing aid, such as supplies and medical needs, as well as reuniting families. Some agencies, such as the Red Cross, are even providing psycho-social help.

Now, a few weeks into the clean-up, agencies have accounted for many of the short-term needs required in the immediate aftermath, including sanitary kits, food, water, and medical help. The long-term relief efforts will continue as workers labor to get families back into their homes, provide food to replace lost crops, rebuild infrastructure and businesses, and continue to provide emotional and psychological support.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been an invaluable part of the clean-up, providing basic water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance. Disaster experts from around the world, including from USAID, are helping to assess needs and damage and coordinate help accordingly. In addition, the International Red Cross is training local Red Cross workers in providing psychological first aid to survivors.

Australia and New Zealand have led response efforts, sending planes, helicopters and naval ships with supplies and medical evacuation teams to the region to help. In a $2 million partnership with the Australian Government, Save the Children is working to send children back to school by setting up temporary learning spaces and providing materials to begin to give kids a sense of normalcy again and so that they do not fall behind.

Other countries around the world have sent financial support, including the United States, India, China, Japan, Nauru, and the nations of the European Union and the Asian Development Bank to assist local efforts and agencies.


For more information:–71979/$2-million-partnership-with-save-the-children-to-help-rebuild-fijis-education-system-following-cyclone-winston

Thanks for sharing !

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