December 23, 2020 – The Australian Government will provide $4.5 million in humanitarian relief to support the people of Fiji in response to the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
Additionally, HMAS Adelaide will be deployed to provide immediate assistance to thousands of Fijians, including many from remote islands, whose homes, schools and other local infrastructure were damaged or destroyed by the category 5 cyclone.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said Adelaide will leave Brisbane on 24 December and is expected to arrive in Fiji next week.
“I am grateful to the women and men of the ADF for their swift response to support our Pacific family at this time of year given how challenging 2020 has been and how much support the ADF has contributed already,” Minister Payne said.
“This year the Pacific region has endured catastrophic bushfires and tropical cyclones and the shared challenge of COVID-19, but we always emerge stronger, when we work together.”
“Importantly, this humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort will be undertaken in accordance with COVIDSafe measures to ensure the safety of our Fijian vuvale.”
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Adelaide will carry personnel and equipment to best complement the relief efforts led by the Government of Fiji.
“Members from the Australian Army’s 6th Engineering Support Regiment from Brisbane will assist Fijian authorities to clear debris, and repair critical infrastructure and schools,” Minister Reynolds said.
“As the scale of the destruction in Fiji caused by TC Yasa becomes clear, Australia is proud to partner with our Fijian vuvale to support their recovery efforts.”
Australia’s $4.5 million package will include:
- humanitarian relief supplies such as building materials, tents, medical supplies, solar lighting and hygiene kits
- education supplies to enable children to return to school
- support for international and local NGOs and the Fiji Red Cross to aid their work with affected communities.
Australia has already sent emergency humanitarian supplies to Fiji on two RAAF C-17A Globemaster flights in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone.
Two RAAF P-8A Poseidon aerial assessment missions have also provided the Fijian Government with an early picture of the scale of the damage caused by TC Yasa in remote locations. Imagery from the P-8A has been provided to the Fijian Government.
Supplies replenished by the Australian Government following Tropical Cyclone Harold earlier this year are already being distributed to some of the hardest hit areas of Vanua Levu.
Preparations by the Government of Fiji and the Fijian people played a significant role in limiting casualties, but the task of repairing and rebuilding infrastructure will be significant.
The Australian Government expresses its support and condolences to the people of Fiji during this challenging time.