Fiji Red Cross Society launches its humanitarian supplies storage facility in Lautoka

Caption: Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, H.E. Margaret Twomey, launches the Storage Facility in Lautoka. Photo: FIJI PROGRAM SUPPORT FACILITY (THE FACILITY).

With the support of the Australian Government, the Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) has taken a step forward in “Building Resilient Communities” by constructing branch offices and storage facilities stocked with humanitarian supplies in 15 sites around Fiji, including the maritime island locations of Koro, Kadavu, Rabi, Rotuma, Lakeba and Vanuabalavu.

H.E. Margaret Twomey, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, joined the FRCS in Lautoka on Monday, August 28, to launch one of the newly constructed storage facilities stocked with 100 emergency shelter kits, 150 family packs, 200 blankets, 200 water collapsible containers and 100 shelter kits.

These supplies contain essential items for the first 24 to 48 hours following a disaster, including clothes, first aid, bed sheets, towels, matches, handsaws, shovels, hoes, shears and ropes – aimed to assist communities and
households to recover in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Ms Twomey said, “Australia is committed to supporting Fiji’s efforts to manage and mitigate disaster risks and build resilience to natural disasters. We recognise the important role that national actors, such as the Fiji Red Cross, its staff and volunteers, play in supporting communities to be disaster ready. I also commend the Fiji Red Cross Lautoka Branch Committee and hardworking volunteers who have the responsibility of looking after this new storage facility. Following disasters, they have the critical task of ensuring those affected, including children, women and people with disabilities, have equal access to these supplies.”

The supplies in the new Lautoka storage will be able to readily assist an estimated 1000-1250 people (200 to 250 households).

“With the help of the Australian Government, the Fiji Red Cross is able to extend our reach to help those in the more remote parts of the islands, especially the maritime areas, and to do it now,” said Mr Filipe Nainoca, Director General at the Fiji Red Cross Society.

“It is through our partnership with Australia that we will be stronger and strategic in our response by going out faster and further than we have been able to do come the next disaster season.”

This support from the Australian Government is also assisting the FRCS to realise its preparedness and response mandate under the Fiji National Disaster Management Plan.