29 February 2016
Integral Members have raised an alert for Cyclone Winston, a category 5 storm which cut a path of destruction across Fiji on 20-21 February 2016. Damage to agriculture is estimated to be US$61 million with 100 per cent of crops destroyed in the worst affected areas. With an estimated 50,000 people currently sheltering in nearly 800 evacuation centres, the Fiji government has declared a 30 day State of Natural Disaster. [Source and more info here]
Three Integral Members are responding to this disaster, with a number of others still considering how they can be involved. Integral Member Transform Aid is partnering with ADRA Fiji who are on the ground conducting needs assessments and mobilising relief items. Tearfund New Zealand mobilised a team to fly to Fiji in the immediate aftermath of the storm to support their three long standing partners in the region. Their partners are assessing needs and looking to provide food and non-food items support, temporary shelter, water and psycho-social support in some of the worst affected areas. Their work focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable communities living in informal settlements.
John Watson, Tearfund’s Communications Officer, reports from the field, “Urgent needs now are tarpaulins, chainsaws, generators, shelter, jerry cans, and water containers. Aid organisations have been asked by the Fijian government to help provide these items, so Tearfund will be working to source these items locally and deliver them to the seven communities we’re working in across Fiji.”
Jan Eyre, Integral’s Disaster Management and Programme Coordinator, says, “We have a very strong network in place in this region because of our previous work together when Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu. We are looking to build on those relationships and the excellent work that was done in incorporating resilience in building back better in this extremely disaster prone region.
“We will continue to coordinate this response and facilitate the sharing of information, plans, proposals, funding sources and needs, stories and photos. We know we can achieve more by working together and sharing our expertise and resources.”
*Integral Alliance is a global alliance of 23 Christian relief and development agencies, working together to present a more effective response to poverty worldwide. CEDAR Fund is one of the member agencies.