CAPTION: Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation in Fiji Adam Janssen.
The European Union is providing €1.8 million (FJD 4.2 million, WST5, 5 million) to fund humanitarian assistance to communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan which caused wide-spread damage in Fiji and Samoa in December 2012.
The funds will be channeled through the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) which falls under the responsibility of Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
The Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation in Fiji, Adam Janssen, stated that EU was making an important contribution to the overall international assistance being provided to the people of Fiji and Samoa.
“The EU has always stood by the people of Fiji and Samoa, especially during a period of crisis,” he stated.
“We are making our contribution to help the people who have suffered from this calamity to recover.”
The decision by the EU to provide funding for humanitarian assistance came after a team of ECHO experts visited Fiji and Samoa shortly after the cyclone caused wide-spread damage to the two countries.
They found that assistance was required in the sectors of shelter, water and sanitation, and that particularly vulnerable families were in need of food and basic household items.
Tropical Cyclone Evan, a Category 4 storm, hit the island nations of Fiji and Samoa between 13-17 December 2012. More than a dozen people were reported killed or missing with over 7,600 houses damaged or destroyed. Samoa was particularly badly affected with the island’s water supply system having been damaged and many food crops destroyed.
Communities in western Fiji had already been hit by two waves of wide-spread flooding in January and March 2012. At the time ECHO committed €200,000 (FJD 472,500) to assist flood affected communities. In addition ECHO is supporting a number of disaster preparedness projects in the Pacific region with €3 million (FJD 7.1 million, WST 9 million) which it has committed recently.