Launching the appeal today, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the needs taken to the community of nations reflected the priorities of the Fijian Government.
“We are stronger than Winston. We will recover. And we will rebuild. And we will do so with our many friends in the community of nations with whom we stand so proudly, and especially at this time.
PM Bainimarama said they looked forward to the generosity of UN member states.
“Even in these dark times, we can all take comfort from one shining truth. That we are a caring nation.
“ With our tenacity and the generosity of UN member states, we must work together to meet the unprecedented need that Cyclone Winston has left in its wake. We look to the world to assist Fiji to fully get back on its feet,” he said.
“All over Fiji, people have held up signs saying “stronger than Winston”. And every Fijian knows it is true. We are stronger than Winston. We will recover. And we will rebuild. And we will do so with our many friends in the community of nations with whom we stand so proudly, and especially at this time.
“Today, we gather to launch the United Nations “Flash Appeal” for Fiji. It’s the term the UN uses to describe the immediate response of the global community to a disaster like the one we have just experienced. A flash of funds and assistance required to meet our immediate needs while a more considered response is formulated as more information comes in,” he said.
Bainimarama also took the opportunity to express his profound gratitude to the international community for the assistance that has been provided so far to those who have suffered from Cyclone Winston.
“I want to especially thank the governments of Australia, New Zealand, India and France for the logistic support they have given us. The ships, the aircraft, the helicopters. The wonderful men and women who are in our country making such a difference to the lives of ordinary Fijians. It is an extraordinary effort and we will never forget the way you have come to us in our hour of need. Hands outstretched, to give Fiji the leg-up we so desperately need.
“I’m humbled like every Fijian to know that we have so many friends in the world. Small nations like our very generous Pacific neighbours. The leaders of large nations, such as my friend, the Indian Prime Minister, who have extended a helping hand.
“To all our friends throughout the world, we say vinaka vakalevu for your donations in cash and in kind – not only governments but the thousands of ordinary people across the globe who are digging deep into their pockets to assist Fiji,” said PM Bainimarama at the launch.
According to information released today:
* USD$38.6m (FJD$81.85m) is required, from Feb-May 2016
* 350,000 people affected by the cyclone (170,000 women, 180,000 men)
* 24,000 houses damaged or destroyed
A Flash Appeal is an internationally recognised tool used to secure funds for United Nations agencies and partners quickly to support government-led emergency responses in a coordinated way.
The goals of a Flash Appeal are to:
* Rapidly raise funds to support urgent humanitarian and life-saving priorities.
* Ensure that the most critical needs are prioritised.
* Support the Government in knowing which organisations and what projects are seeking to fund, to ensure transparency and accountability.