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French government hands over relief supplies

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The Fijian Government today received about 200 tents from the Government of France for occupants of the 961 homes that were totally destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Harold.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu said that “as Fiji recovers from the devastation of TC Harold, we are also in solidarity with the international community in addressing the deadly COVID 19 pandemic”.

“The impact of the COVID-19 crisis extends beyond the sickness and death caused by the virus itself and demands a concerted global effort,” Minister Seruiratu said.

“As you may have witnessed, Fiji like many other countries has imposed drastic social and economic restrictions, shutting schools and businesses and imposing lockdowns and curfews - which is much more than a health crisis; lives and livelihoods have been affected,” he added.

“Fiji, like other small island developing states, is trying to confront this threat in the most challenging of circumstances but this has stretched our scarce resources to the limit, and therefore, we are grateful for the support of France and like-minded development partners.”

Ambassador of France to Fiji Mr Jean-François Fitou acknowledged French citizens living in Fiji and thanked Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Cabinet Ministers, the health workers and all the COVID-19 frontliners.

Ambassador Fitou stressed this handover by the French Government was not a gift but simply an exchange and a way of giving back to help Fijians.

“My sincere hope is that people living in the islands and other Fijians that have been affected will benefit from these tents,” he said.