Cyclone Winston: Aid begins to flow but more needed

Relief efforts have begun in earnest following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Getting food to families is the most urgent need at the moment,” said Iliapi Tuwai, Country Director for ADRA Fiji. “With gardens and farms destroyed there is little for people to eat. Children are hungry and disease is starting to grow.”

The food packs distributed by ADRA in the hard-hit north of Veti Levu will contain essential items including rice, tuna, sugar and high-energy biscuits. The packs are designed to provide enough supplementary nutrition for a family of five for a week.

“These food packs will ensure families can survive until more aid can be provided.”

According to Mr Tuwai this is just the beginning of ADRA’s response.

“We are already planning to provide emergency shelter and access to safe water and hygiene materials. This is not a disaster that people recover from quickly. We’ve also begun plans for recovery projects that will help people reestablish their homes and livelihoods.”

While damage to power, communication and road networks have made the work of the government and aid agencies difficult, ADRA’s presence on the ground and early preparations mean their response has been swift.

A team of experts from the global ADRA network have been flown to assist in response to the Category 5 storm. The Emergency Response team includes ADRA staff their office in Fiji plus experts from Australia, New Zealand and Germany.

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