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Evacuation centres following Cyclone Winston in Fiji

Press Release – UNICEF

UNICEF: Up to 7.2% (62,400) of Fiji’s population estimated to be in evacuation centres following Cyclone Winston Donate: www.unicef.org.nz/fiji or text FIJI to 2923 to make a $3 donation More than a week has passed since Tropical Cyclone Winston ripped …UNICEF: Up to 7.2% (62,400) of Fiji’s population estimated to be in evacuation centres following Cyclone Winston

Donate: www.unicef.org.nz/fiji or text FIJI to 2923 to make a $3 donation

More than a week has passed since Tropical Cyclone Winston ripped through Fiji, leaving very little unscathed. This includes 120,000 children who were directly impacted by the strongest cyclone to ever hit Fiji.

Just one of these children is thirteen year old Adi from Yaqeta village in the outer Yasawa Islands. In her own words, “I saw our house starting to collapse. I grabbed my brother and we run. I was so scared. We run from house to house three times. Now I am heartbroken to see the house where I was born and raised in, in pieces.”

UNICEF New Zealand’s Executive Director, Vivien Maidaborn, said, “There are still some pieces of the picture missing but we do know that approximately 7.2% (62,400) of Fiji’s population are in 875 evacuation centres, with many staying with relatives or in other places away from home. 40% of the population (347,000 people, including 120,000 children) are likely to have been directly affected by TC Winston. 134 schools have been destroyed, severely damaged or are being used as evacuation centres.

“In spite of these harrowing numbers and statistics, we continue to hear stories of kindness, bravery and solidarity such as grandparents doing anything they can to protect their grandchildren, pregnant mothers giving birth in the early days after the cyclone and children, who after everything, still have smiles on their faces.”

Positive progress is already being made by the Government of Fiji in partnership with UNICEF and others.

UNICEF’s initial response builds on an investment in Fiji’s emergency response capacity and distributed prepositioned supplies that were requested by the Government of Fiji. These supplies are now depleted and funding is needed to sustain and scale up the response. Less than a week after Cyclone Winston, UNCEF had taken the following actions:

• 20,000 people in the most affected areas, have been provided with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation. Supplies distributed by the Government were provided by UNICEF and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.
• 2,115 students at 23 schools on Koro Island, Lautoka and Ba areas have been provided with education supplies, including temporary learning spaces and learning materials.
• Seven Emergency Health Kits, each serving a population of 1,000 people for 3 months, have been distributed to health facilities in Rakiraki, Koro, Gau and Balavu. Six of the kits were funded by the New Zealand Government.
• UNICEF staff have been embedded into three Government Ministries and six assessment and response missions to provide technical and coordination support.

Together with the Government and other partners, UNICEF is co-leading the WASH and education cluster working groups and also participates in work related to safety and protection (child protection) and health (including nutrition).

Ms Maidaborn added, “Our teams in Fiji are on the ground working around the clock to ensure children do not have to suffer any more than they already have. Please donate what you can at www.unicef.org.nz/fiji
Donate: www.unicef.org.nz/fiji or text FIJI to 2923 to make a $3 donation

ENDS

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