Australian Government provides assistance to Fiji
The Australian government has announced a further contribution of close to F$4 million (A$2 million) to Fiji to assist in the relief and recovery efforts of communities devastated by the April floods.
Australian High Commissioner, Glen Miles, made the announcement while on a tour in the west to see firsthand the work of Australia’s assistance.
Through Australian AID, F$2 million will support additional food rations and transitional shelters. This funding will also support continued relief efforts with provisions for clean up kits, hygiene kits, women’s dignity kits, transitional shelter kits and medical supplies.
“Australia will support the recovery efforts with another F$2 million provided equally between food security programs and education. Under food security, Australian AID is working with local NGOs to provide seeds, rehabilitate land, establish nurseries and conduct training for farmers and communities,” Mr. Miles said.
“Through our education funding support, 47 flood damaged schools will receive much needed structural rehabilitation. We will also provide additional funding to assist Save the Children Fund in extending its school feeding program over the 5 weeks which will benefit a total of 2,157 students”.
Sub Continent Friends of Labor led a campaign to have the funds increased. Those who attended were with Member for Chiefly Ed Husic were Prakash Chandra-Navatarang Media and also representing Yaadein Mission, Mutthu Menon – Shakti Temple, Ron and Jai Senkteshwar – Charity First Sydney, George Anand- Gen Secretary Santan Dharama Shaba of NSW, Saroj Raj of Saroj Care, Harish Velji Chairperson- Sub Continent Friends of Labor.
Reacting to the news, Prakash Chandra who had firsthand experience in delivery food to Fiji at grassroots level said “I am very pleased and thank the Australian Government and in particular Hon Bob Carr, Hon Ed Husic and Hon Michelle Rowland who have seen that the aid is increased to the Fiji flood victims at the grassroots level.”
“I also extend thanks to Harish Velji and Sub Continent Friends of Labor for spearheading this campaign with other local community groups” said Prakash Chandra.
“I recently convened a meeting with a variety of community groups concerned about the ongoing impact of the floods in Fiji said Member for Chiefly Ed Husic
“They left me with a deep concern about the time it was taking for Fiji to recover from this event, with roads and essential infrastructure badly damaged.”
“While they welcomed the Australian Government’s $1m aid commitment, it was clear the priority was to lift this assistance to ensure an even more meaningful level of help.”
“I personally raised this issue with Senator Carr and my colleague the Federal Member for Greenway “Michelle Rowland and I separately wrote to him calling on the Government to increase its aid commitment. ”
“I was very pleased to hear that the Australian Government has provided an additional $4m to Fiji and I think this will make a real difference to the lives of many affected by these awful floods.”
Ms Rowland who called on Foreign Minister Carr to increase aid to the flood ravaged country said she was pleased Australia had provided additional support to its Fijian neighbour.
“The extra two million dollars in aid will be of great assistance to Fiji,” Ms Rowland said.
“This was the responsible thing to do and I thank Minister Carr for injecting more aid into Fiji.”
“The Australian Government has provided a total of A$3 million in emergency assistance to Fiji in response to the country’s recent floods.”