Australian NGOs are preparing to support local people in response to Tropical Cyclone Yasa as assessments of damage and destruction take place across Fiji.
ACFID’s NGO members are liaising with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the extent and nature of the response, and determining how to best support local responders on the ground in Fiji.
A State of Natural Disaster has been declared in Fiji and the National Disaster Management Office has reported that over 23,000 people were evacuated and took shelter in 450 evacuation centres overnight.
Tragically, extensive damage and fatalities are now being reported by the National Disaster Management Office.
ACFID CEO, Marc Purcell, commented:
“Local NGOs are already delivering support to people affected by Yasa, and the role for Australian NGOs right now is to assist their partners and local people in the most effective way possible.
“Local people are best placed to know what’s need and where, so we need to shape support on reports coming back in.
“The multiplying effects of COVID-19, and Tropical Cyclone Harold in April, have depleted supplies in many Pacific countries and created further restocking challenges. The immediate priority is getting the required supplies to the right place.”
Australian NGOs have been working closely with their partners, local governments and communities in Fiji on long-term disaster preparedness and resilience. The Australian Humanitarian Partnership – a partnership between the Australian Government and Australian NGOs – has been a critical part of those efforts.
Purcell described how the Australian public can support the relief effort:
“We are asking the public to show their generosity with cash donations to approved appeals. Cash is fast, flexible, and is used to meet the immediate and changing needs of those affected.
“Unsolicited goods sent to disaster zones consistently end up in landfill and hinder response efforts. We cannot afford for supply chains to be congested when COVID-19 has forced tight restrictions.”
ACFID’s thoughts are with its sister peak-body, the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO), based in Suva.
“The thoughts of ACFID and its members are with our dedicated friends at PIANGO as they respond to TC Yasa at the end of a difficult year.”
Members of the public can view a list of consolidated ACFID-member appeals at: https://acfid.asn.au/content/tropical-cyclone-yasa-fiji-emergency-appeal. All ACFID member appeals listed have been checked and meet ACFID Code of Conduct requirements.