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$3.9 Million Project to Help Koro, Ra Winston Recovery

$3.9 Million Project to Help Koro, Ra Winston Recovery
Save the Children New Zealand chief executive officer, Heidi Coetzee (second from left), New Zealand High Commission development counsellor Jonathan Rowe (centre), and Save the Children chief executive officer, Iris Low-Mckenzie with representatives
December 06
11:00 2017

Save the Children Fiji has launched a new $3.9 million five-year project to increase commu­nity resilience and improve outcomes for children in both Ra and Koro.

The KANA Project, funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) was also launched in partnership with Save the Children New Zealand in Suva yesterday.

Save the Children Fiji chief executive officer Iris Low-Mckenzie said the pro­ject aims to improve outcomes for chil­dren through increased food security and disaster risk management in the two areas severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“The impacts of this agricultural loss will impact them for several years as high winds, flooding and storm surges will cause substantial damage to per­manent plantations,” she said.

“Some community members have migrated for alternative sources of in­come putting strains on food security and leaving productive farmland unat­tended.”

Ms Low-Mckenzie said the project would work in 20 rural communities along the coastal areas in Ra and Koro Island reaching a minimum of 3500 people.

The KANA Project, senior project of­ficer Leone Saumaki said, after also assessing regions such as Taveuni and Savusavu, it was realised that Ra and Koro were in most need of urgent de­velopment support.

“Unfortunately for Ra and Koro, there has not been much support for the farmers,” he said

“If children have the knowledge, yes they can come up to the mainland for education, but if they’re not, there is only one secondary school in Koro and that’s it.

“It’s either be a farmer or they go else­where for employment.”

Mr Saumaki hopes that communi­ties can take ownership of these pro­grammes and said the KANA Project is currently building a collection centre in Koro where farmers can collect their products.

The project is set to run until Novem­ber 2020, with New Zealand High Com­mission development counsellor, Jona­than Rowe and Save the Children New Zealand chief executive officer, Heidi Coetzee also attending its launch in Suva. Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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