Joint Media Release:
- Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women.
Australia is providing additional assistance to support our Pacific family after Tropical Cyclone Harold caused widespread destruction across Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
In response to Fiji’s request for international assistance, Australia will provide a further support package including:
- humanitarian relief supplies made-up of shelter kits and tents, kitchen utensils, water containers and personal hygiene items; and
- funding for the Fiji Red Cross and non-government organisations to provide community services such as rebuilding, safe access water and sanitation, and counselling support to address specific needs of vulnerable people.
Tropical Cyclone Harold’s passage resulted in significant damage to buildings, crops and power lines in Fiji’s Eastern, Central and Western Divisions. Aerial assessments reveal particularly severe damage in the southern island of Kadavu and the Lau Group.
“Just as Fijian personnel supported Australian communities during our recent bushfires, Australia stands with Fiji as family, as vuvale, in its time of need,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne.
“Australia will directly support the Government of Fiji to mobilise initial response efforts and prioritise the rehabilitation of core services such as schools and health clinics.”
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said Australia works closely with our Pacific partners to build resilience for the security impacts of challenges including natural disasters.
“Following the successful RAAF delivery of much needed goods to Vanuatu this week, we are proud to provide similar support to Fiji as part of our Vuvale partnership,” Minister Reynolds said.
Australian relief supplies will be strictly handled in accordance with health advice to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Australia continues to coordinate closely with New Zealand and France through the FRANZ disaster relief arrangements.