Additional support for Fiji’s post-disaster efforts as country recovers from cyclone Yasa

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Responding to the Fijian Government’s recovery efforts, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing additional funding support to the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management in coordinating disaster response and recovery following Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

The Category 5 storm which hit the country on 17 December 2020, caused heavy destruction to infrastructure, buildings and agricultural areas as it cut a path across Vanua Levu and the Lau group of islands. It was the strongest storm since Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016 and has left thousands of Fijians without homes.

The additional support is towards one of the key priority areas of the Ministry which is the National Disaster Operations focusing on the post-disaster, planning and recovery phase.

Honourable Inia Seruiratu, the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management reiterated that this support is geared towards improving coordination response and recovery effort especially with the increased frequency of cyclones that have also intensified in strength and nature. Gathering of key data from damage assessments conducted after every disaster is crucial in mapping out Government’s post disaster recovery plan. The 50 Tablets handed over today will greatly boost our immediate response to future disasters.

He further stressed that whilst the current focus of information management is on damage assessments, the ‘gadgets’ will also assist in collation of information for development programs of the Ministry.

Kevin Petrini, the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Deputy Resident Representative, a.i., said, “The additional support is through our Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project and will be an investment in data collection, analysis and management tools for post-disaster reporting.”

He added, “This would complement the existing efforts in risk-informing all development initiatives as the integrator of data management for future risk-informed development interventions.”

The Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) Project is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.