Fiji government announces relief assistance for cyclone victims

Fiji's worst affected cyclone victims will qualify for $FJ 7000 or about US$3448 in relief assistance.

Prime minister Frank Bainimarama has announced a new package for people hard hit by recent back to back cyclones and flooding.

He announced the Cyclone Assistance Relief Effort for Fiji package or CARE for Fiji before flying out last night for London.

Mr Bainimarama is on his way to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said people earning less than FJ$50,000 dollars a year and whose homes were totally destroyed or suffering severe damage qualify for the funds.

The system would run on prepaid electronic cards with set vendors as happened after Cyclone Winston two years ago.

Mr Bainimarama said an estimated 150,000 people were affected by Cyclones Josie and Keni this month.


Building supplies and basic food items are the main needs on Fiji's Kadavu after Cyclone Keni.

The category three storm hit the island hard on Tuesday afternoon destroying houses, uprooting trees and sinking boats.

One of the owners of the Matava Resort on the south of the island, Luke Kerchevale, said the surrounding villages are in really bad shape.

He said there are only a handful of resorts on the island but they are all putting together some money to try and help out.

"We spoke to the villages at the moment their main priority is roofing and timber and they will just get to work on putting rooves back up and just getting shelter for now," he said.

"But the next big step is going to be food because all the food crops cash crops pretty much everything has been wiped out. So while there is fruit and things on the ground at the moment once that is all finished food will be a bit of an issue."

Luke Kerchevale said on their side of the island water was not that much of an issue because most villages have access to natural rock springs.


Photo Facebook. Caption: Damage on the island of Kadavu