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Relief material to the cyclone-hit Fiji

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 2 minutes read

IT Correspondent
New Delhi, Jan 4:

The first consignment of relief material from India for the cyclone-affected people reached Fiji on Saturday and another consignment is expected to reach Fiji on January 06, 2021 to help implement rehab measures, official press release of Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)  stated on Saturday. 
The Republic of Fiji is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific ocean about 110 nautical miles North East of New Zealand. 
Fiji was hit by a Category V Tropical Cyclone Yasa on December 17-18, 2020, which caused extensive damage and destruction of critical infrastructure. The relief material sent by the Government of India, comprised shelter and hygiene kits, which will provide immediate assistance to the affected communities. 
The super storm slammed into Fiji’s second largest island Vanua Levu, leaving a trail of destruction. Of the 24,000 people who evacuated from their homes at the height of the storm, 16,113 are still unable to return. The storm also damaged schools and caused widespread flooding and landslides. A New Zealand Air Force reconnaissance flight flew over the area to assess the scale of the damage, with reports of houses, crops and entire livelihoods wiped out. 
Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, over 6 tons of relief supplies were put together in a short span of time by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and were airlifted to Fiji with the help of “Air India” and “Fiji Airways” via Sydney, Australia. The relief material could be delivered in record time due to the effective cooperation among multiple agencies in three countries. 
Reflecting its deep-rooted and friendly ties, India has firmly stood by Fiji during times of crisis and devastation caused by natural disasters like Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016. Now the despatch of relief material in the wake of Cyclone Yasa highlights India’s commitment to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support to friendly foreign Countries as a first responder, MEA stated. 
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is an important pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019. India remains committed to extend full support to Fiji’s efforts to restore livelihoods of the affected communities and to build resilient infrastructure, MEA added.

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