Fiji + 5 more

UNICEF Pacific Partner Update for Cyclone Winston in Fiji and News from the Pacific, 1 July – 31 August 2016

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TC Winston Highlights

  • The Fiji Government held a series of lessons learned workshops for the overall response that culminated in a national workshop attended by partners involved in the humanitarian response. The Education and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) clusters also held their separate lessons learned review workshops.

  • UNICEF completed its internal After Action Review.

  • A school-feeding programme is running in 38 schools in worstaffected areas, benefitting nearly 6,000 students.

  • 74 solar direct drive, 17 ice-lined refrigerators and 15 solar power packs arrived in country, along with an installation specialist.

  • UNICEF field monitors started Round 2 visits in 86 communities and 105 schools to confirm the delivery and assess the usefulness of supplies and activities

Highlights from around the Pacific

  • UNICEF completed the shipment of the annual vaccine orders and immunization supplies to 13 Pacific Island Countries through the Vaccine Independence Initiative (VII).

  • The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of the Solomon Islands streamlined the 2010 National Disaster Management structure by creating four committees (humanitarian, social services, livelihood and infrastructure) to replace the previous clusters.

  • UN Pacific Strategy consultations were held in Kiribati, FSM, Nauru, RMI, Tonga and Vanuatu with participation from UN Agencies, Governments, civil society and development partners. The consultations will inform the new five year Strategy for the UN in the Pacific, as well as the new programme of UNICEF Pacific multi-country programme.

  • UNICEF shipped 112 rainwater tanks (10,000 litres) to 12 outer islands in Kiribati to help improve water accessibility of 20,000 people in communities hit by the El Niño drought and climate change.

  • The Government of Nauru officially approved and released the ‘Review of the Child Protection System in Nauru,’ a UNICEF-supported study on the country’s child protection system, the legal framework and its components and their functions.

Overview of Recovery from TC Winston in Fiji

It has been six months since Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston (TC Winston) slammed into Fiji with devastating results. It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere with wind gusts reaching 306 km/hr. The extreme wind speed also whipped up storm surges that inundated coastal areas and small islands. TC Winston left almost total devastation along its path: 44 people killed; 540,400 people affected; 30,369 houses, 495 schools and 88 health clinics and medical facilities damaged or destroyed1 . The Government of Fiji placed the total value of damages and losses wrought by TC Winston at US$1.4 billion, or roughly a third of the country’s total gross domestic product .The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management organised a series of lessons learned workshops on TC Winston across the country, which culminated in a national workshop held on 26-28 July.

Key government ministries, the United Nations and national and international humanitarian organisations participated in the national workshop. The workshops discussed issues on legislation and policies; standard operating procedures (SOPs), systems and tools; and training and capacity building relevant to emergency preparedness and response. A set of recommendations were drafted covering coordination, funding, monitoring and reporting, sub-national coordination, cluster coordination, role of the military, role of the private sector, logistics, information management and assessments, working with communities and communications. There was also a recommendation to review and revise the Disaster Management Act of 1998 to make it more focused on risk reduction and adoption of cluster coordination and information management.

UNICEF continues to provide a combination of humanitarian and recovery assistance in the areas of education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), maternal and child health and nutrition, and communicating with communities. UNICEF’s early recovery approaches include strengthening resilience, service delivery and coordination capacity, risk reduction, and school and community resilience to possible medium to long term adverse effects of cyclones, sea surges, drought and flooding. Key risks for children include poor health and malnutrition, drop in school attendance and learning and protection challenges. UNICEF is also supporting monitoring and evaluation, reporting and lessons learned exercises.