Australian Government Pledges AUD50,000 for Humanitarian Support in Case of Disaster

Media Release

(For Immediate Release)

12th January 2015

Australian Government Pledges AUD50,000 for Humanitarian Support in Case of Disaster

Disaster response teams are now in a better position to provide emergency humanitarian support immediately after a natural disaster thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed this afternoon between the Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) and the Australian Government’s Fiji Community Development Program (FCDP). The MOU was signed at the FCDP office in Suva.

Through FCDP, the Australian Government has committed to a total of AUD50, 000 for emergency disaster relief that the FRCS can activate upon request from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).

Following the MOU signing, the Australian High Commission’s Regional Development Acting Counsellor John Morley said that this is a reflection of the Australian Government’s commitment to the people of Fiji.

“The first 48 hours after a disaster strikes are often the most difficult, roads and communications can be cut, field staff that are needed to respond can themselves be impacted by the disaster. Very soon after a disaster responders need information on what happened and where to be able to begin relief operations,” Mr Morley said.

“These funds will allow Fiji Red Cross and NDMO to take those important first steps to help affected communities and Australia is very pleased to be able to support them both,” he added.

The MOU is a 12-month pilot agreement enabling the Australian Government, through FCDP, to launch humanitarian action swiftly in the event of a major weather event, channelling the funds through the FRCS to meet immediate humanitarian needs identified by the NDMO.

“Apart from providing emergency relief assistance in the aftermath of a natural disaster, the MOU will also provide support to Fiji Red Cross and the NDMO for search and rescue missions, administering urgent medical attention like medivac and allow prompt assessments and aerial surveys of the affected areas,” stated FCDP Team Leader Michael Brownjohn.

FRCS Director General Mr Filipe Nainoca added that FRCS is pleased to sign this MOU with the Australian Government and is looking forward to working with NDMO to assist the vulnerable people in times of disasters.

In addition to the MOU, FCDP will also collaborate with partner CSOs, disaster response teams and the Australian Government to provide ongoing relief to victims in event of a natural disaster.

For further information please contact FCDP’s Communications Officer Sunayna Nandni: Sunayna_Nandni@fcdpfiji.org or 9306750.