Fiji’s UN ambassador calls for international support after devastation by Tropical Cyclone Yasa

FIJIAN families and communities across the country are rebuilding following the devastation left behind by the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa that struck Fiji on Thursday, December 17.

Yasa has destroyed homes and livelihoods for tens of thousands of families. These communities are spread across a vast area of the country ranging from the provinces of Bua and Cakaudrove to the islands in the Lomaiviti and Lau groups, and villages across the delta areas of Rewa, Tailevu and Yasawas, and homes across Ra.

Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) has mobilized a full-scale national emergency response to coordinate the recovery and relief effort. The recovery will be challenging given the scale of the damages arising from winds that were in excess of 300 kilometers per hour coupled with extensive flooding and the mass destruction caused by storm surges. The trail of destruction is widespread. Over 7,000 Fijians are likely to remain in over 170 evacuation centers well into the new year.

Health, Military, Navy, Infrastructure, Forestry, Agriculture, Economy and all other agencies of the Fiji Government have been fully mobilized. Roads are being reopened, water and power supply are being restored, and emergency food rations are being distributed to affected areas. Over the next few days, the first responders will be reaching outer and remote islands. The full extent of the damage caused by TC Yasa will become clearer over the next weeks.

Speaking from Bua, the ground zero of Yasa, Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama said, “My fellow Fijians, the storm is passing, the sun has risen and we are still here… these storms may be getting stronger, but they will never be stronger than we are. Resilience is in our bone; we will recover, we will rebuild, we will prove ourselves stronger than Yasa.”

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (PRUN), Ambassador Satyendra Prasad, has called on “the Fijian diaspora in the USA, in Canada and elsewhere, and on Fiji’s friends to be generous to assist Fiji to provide and sustain emergency support for thousands of families across the Fijian islands at this exceptionally difficult time for our country. Together, we will get through this. We will build back stronger; we will build back together”. Ambassador Prasad said that given the exceptional difficulties arising from COVID 19 pandemic, the best way to assist speedily is to transfer cash to Prime Minister’s Cyclone Relief Fund or to another national NGO such as Red Cross.

Those who wish to contribute to the relief effort can do so through the Prime Minister’s Cyclone Fund. Through this fund, the government purchases emergency food, water and fuel rations; rebuilds crucial infrastructure, especially community water schemes, and delivers emergency assistance with great speed.

Fiji Bank details for Fiji’s Prime Minister’s Cyclone Fund 

Account Name: Prime Minister’s National  Disaster Relief & Rehabilitation: TC Yasa Account Number: 12628523

Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, Suva Swift code: ANZBFJFX BSB No: 010890 

Account Name: Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief & Rehabilitation: TC Yasa Account Number: 80399804

Bank of South Pacific (BSP), Suva Swift code: BOSPFJFJ BSB No: 069-002 

Account Name: Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief & Rehabilitation: TC Yasa Account Number: 9806094927 WestPac Banking Corporation (WBC) Bank, Suva Swift code: WPACFJFX BSB No: 039001