Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:
This Operation Update is issued to inform stakeholders of the extension to the operation timeframe by three months until 30 November 2021. The extension is required due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Fiji, and the Fiji government has imposed strict restrictions on movement of people and logistics within different provinces and islands.
The operation was suspended in late April 2021 with activities halted until FRCS was granted exemption by the Government in late July 2021 to complete the remaining activities for the operation under very strict COVID protocols.
The extended timeframe allows for remaining activities to be completed in support of the most vulnerable people and communities affected by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yasa and TC Ana. Many of these same households have increased needs due to the COVID outbreak in Fiji, which has had a large economic impact on the most vulnerable.
There has been no major revision to operational activities. However, all requirements of the early recovery phase of the operation that was delayed by the COVID outbreak need to be completed:
- The main activity remaining for the DREF operation, which is also supported through other donor funding, is the installation of community water tanks in the targeted affected communities. Technical assessment is ongoing to confirm the total requirement. Installation of water tanks for the affected communities will also have a secondary effect of improving access to water, which will in turn improve hygiene and minimise risks of an ongoing COVID outbreak.
Health activities have focused on provision of awareness messaging for Leptospirosis, Typhoid, Diarrhoea and Dengue (LTDD) to communities, to reduce the risk and spread of vectorborne diseases. Prior to COVID restrictions, FRCS health activities had reached 255 communities, a total of 37,135 people (7,371 households) in hotspot areas affected by TC Yasa and TC Ana.
To adapt to the COVID-19 outbreak, the LTDD awareness will occur through mass media communications (radio, television and social media). Planning is being finalised in coordination with the divisional health authorities to launch the LTDD campaign via mass media. This also includes messaging for hygiene promotion to reduce risk of COVID transmission.
- Through the assessment conducted by FRCS, 1,047 households were identified for shelter support kits. These items will strengthen household repairs in preparation for the next cyclone season. Local procurement was in progress prior to lockdown and these items will now be delivered and distributed as per the detailed plan.
Remaining relief items for distribution. Prior to the COVID outbreak, local procurement of remaining relief items for distribution had been completed (hygiene kits, baby kits and disability kits), also supported through other donor funding. These will now be delivered and distributed as per the detailed plan to support the most affected and vulnerable (people living with disabilities, elderly, single parents).
Relief items for pre-positioning. Prior to COVID restrictions, in-kind donations of relief items from Australian Red Cross had arrived in Fiji. Unfortunately, the logistics agent could not clear these items due to COVID restrictions. These will now be delivered to branches for pre-positioning along with family kits and dignity kits being procured locally.
The Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) activated its branches and mobilized its volunteers in the affected provinces of Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove. A team from the FRCS headquarters travelled to Bua province on 20 December 2020, to assist volunteers conducting initial assessments. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) also sent four technical staff in WASH, shelter, cash voucher assistance (CVA) and health to assist FRCS staff and volunteers. The country cluster delegation (CCD) in Suva continues to provide technical support in operations management, logistics, human resource, WASH, shelter, health and planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (PMER). The International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC) sub-regional office provided communications support to the FRCS and restoring family links (RFL) equipment and personnel support in the affected areas.
The New Zealand Red Cross (NZRC) supported through deployment of an operations manager on secondment to IFRC to support FRCS and have also been providing remote information management (IM) and logistics support while the Australian Red Cross (ARC) have been providing communications and WASH support to the IFRC CCD in Suva.