NATION

PM, Australian Heads Visit Taveuni

An Australian Army MRH-90 helicopter on Wednesday flew Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to visit cyclone-affected communities of Taveuni Island. Prime Minister Bainimarama arrived with five tonnes of humanitarian aid including
25 Mar 2016 10:47
PM, Australian  Heads Visit Taveuni
fijisun.com.fj

An Australian Army MRH-90 helicopter on Wednesday flew Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to visit cyclone-affected communities of Taveuni Island.

Prime Minister Bainimarama arrived with five tonnes of humanitarian aid including shelter kits and food supplies to be distributed by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and local officials.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji Margaret Twomey, and Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 635, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Hill, accompanied the Prime Minister as he toured damaged areas to speak with locals and schools affected by the cyclone.

The visit provided the opportunity for Ms Twomey and Lieutenant Colonel Hill to gain a first-hand understanding of the situation on Taveuni Island one month after Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Ms Twomey said it was important to visit the island with the Prime Minister to assess the assistance that had been provided as part of the initial emergency response effort.

This helped to ensure the Government of Fiji could plan for the transition to recovery with Australia’s continued support.

“It’s crucial for us to be with the Prime Minister here to understand how our aid has assisted and also to see what is needed ahead in order to assist the Fiji Government transition from the emergency response phase to civilian, long-term recovery issues,” said Ms Twomey.

The initial ADF response included the rapid distribution of Australian Aid and other emergency relief stores to Fiji’s outlying islands facilitated by HMAS Canberra’s amphibious capability and engineering assets which arrived in Fiji on March 1.

Australia has so far provided $23 million in humanitarian assistance to Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Australia remains committed to Fiji’s long term recovery and will continue to work closely with the Government to help Fiji rebuild.

Source: Australian High Commission

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