Fiji: Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston Situation Report No. 18 (as of 17 March 2016)



  • Of the 100 schools and early childhood, care and education (ECCE) centers destroyed, only five schools remain closed.

  • Access to safe drinking water has been restored to 150,000 people.

  • Almost 4,600 people remain in 237 evacuation centres.

  • More than 500,000 cuttings have reached affected farmers.

Situation Overview

Almost a month after the cyclone, the Government-led response has delivered life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of affected people. Remaining gaps are being identified across the clusters. A total of 28,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by the cyclone. While humanitarian efforts are well underway to provide temporary shelter, 11,000 households remain in need of tools and training to ensure they can construct transitional shelters, understand safer building principles and invest in disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Only five schools of the 100 that were completely destroyed are still closed owing to a timely and coordinated response. There remains however, an urgent need for more temporary learning spaces in damaged schools to restore pre-cyclone learning conditions for students and prevent overcrowding. Food rations, seedlings and seeds are being distributed across affected parts of the country but there remains a need for international support to ensure longer term food security as crops are replanted. Access to safe drinking water has been restored to some 150,000 people, yet around 100,000 people remain without it.

The Government and humanitarian partners are planning to use cash assistance, vouchers and cash-for-work programmes in a number of areas, including food, shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The informal Cash Working Group is compiling a set of standards for each area which will be shared with the Safety and Protection Cluster for review. These will then be provided as guidance to all partners interested in cash or voucher programmes. Several organizations are planning market and community assessments to explore viability and potential impacts of cash assistance. These will be coordinated and shared through the working group. Further analysis is also underway to better understand who is most in need of such assistance and what support they may already have access to.

Many people affected by the cyclone are showing resilience and are coping relatively well in the face of extreme adversity. However, some are at an increased risk of experiencing psychological problems, including mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MoHMS) is leading a Psychosocial Support and Mental Health Sub-Cluster with local and international partners to assess and address the needs of those affected. Trained volunteers are supporting people who were affected. Mental health professionals have been trained to provide psychological first aid training to others in Northern, Central and Western Divisions, and are expanding the reach of this support. For example, group talanoa sessions giving relevant psychosocial information and promoting mutual support will be provided at community and evacuation centers, as well as providing individual psychological first aid to those in distress.


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