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Opinion, Opinion

CARE FOR FIJI PACKAGE SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE

CARE FOR FIJI PACKAGE SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE
Alifereti Tainitakali in Kadavu after Tropical Cyclone Keni on April 15, 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
April 16
13:03 2018

 

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the 4 The Re­cord FBC TV programme last night.

The comprehensive and unprec­edented Cyclone Relief pack­age, Care for Fiji, announced by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Friday is a winner.

It is innovative and simple, yet its impact affects many, from ordinary people to farmers and small business operators.

This latest initiative by the FijiFirst Government to help an estimated 150,000 people affected by the two tropi­cal cyclones Josie and Keni is brilliant.

The comprehensive relief package – the Cyclone Assistance Relief Effort for Fiji, or CARE for Fiji – is the first of its kind and caters for a wide cross sec­tion of the people adversely affected by the cyclones.

The relief package includes a number of initiatives: HOMES-CARE, FARMS-CARE, SUGARCANE-CARE, LEASE­HOLDERS-CARE, WELFARE-CARE and eTRANSPORT-CARE

Under HOMES-CARE, households with an annual income of under $50,000 who have lost items in their homes or whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the cyclones can apply to receive pre-paid electronic cards to buy the materials to repair their homes and replace possessions that were lost or damaged.

For those whose homes were totally destroyed or suffered severe structural damage, they qualify for $7000 in relief assistance. The funds can go towards the reconstruction of their homes and to cover the replacement cost of their lost possessions or household items that includes television sets, furniture, housewares and anything of value in the homes that was damaged by the rains and flooding.

Under the LEASEHOLDERS-CARE, Fijians, whosehousehold income is below $50,000 and leasing iTaukei land or State land for residential or agri­cultural purposes, will get their due lease payment for 12 months paid by the Government.

Under the SUGARCANE-CARE and FARMS-CARE all farmers, victims of the cyclones, will also be assisted.

And for our livestock farmers, they will get free feed and replacement fenc­ing to help cover any damages to farms and recoup the value of lost heads of livestock sustained due to the severe weather, along with the clearing of de­bris.

Under WELFARE-CARE, all Fijians living in affected areas who already qualify for any of our social welfare programmes will receive a one-month top-up, effectively giving them a double payment for this month.

Under e-TRANSPORT-CARE, Fijians living in affected areas using perma­nent e-Transport cards will receive free top-up of $50 and school children with unsubsidised yellow e-Transport cards will receive a top-up of $25. Chil­dren with blue e-Transport cards will continue to ride for free.

People have been warned not to lie about the state of their property, farm, produce, home or their belongings. They will face the law and very serious consequences. People are reminded that regular spot checks of areas ben­efiting from these programmes will be done. There will also be a hotline where concerned Fijians can report those who they suspect have abused these very important relief pro­grammes. The Hotline will also allow members of the public to lodge com­plaints against those civil servants who do not fully implement CARE Fiji.

Another relief package, CARE for KADAVU, which is tailored to the unique needs of communities on the island, will be announced soon.

The initiatives reinforce the reputa­tion of this Government as a caring government. The announcement tells people that help is on the way.

Mr Bainimarama said during the initiative announcement in Nadi be­fore flying out to attend the Common­wealth Heads of Government Meeting in London (CHOGM), he was taking our campaign against climate change to the global audience in his role as President of COP23.

TC Josie and TC Keni showed that we are in the throes of the impact climate change and we cannot avoid it. We just have to deal with what is thrown at us.

This relief package has already re­ceived praise from ordinary people. That has come as no surprise because it is for them.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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