The Prime Minister has stressed the importance of a prompt response by all sections of government to the needs of Fijians across the country who are struggling with the impact of Cyclone Winston.
At today’s briefing session at the National Disaster Management in Suva, the Prime Minister directed disaster officials, the RFMF and police, ministries and other government institutions to immediately deploy resources and personnel to affected areas across the country.
"There are Fijians out there who are without water, without a roof over their heads, without food and without essential services. It is our duty to determine their needs and provide them with the support they need as soon as possible,” he said.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for a coordinated response to the relief effort by the RFMF and humanitarian agencies to avoid duplication and prevent any wastage of available resources. He said the Government was especially keen to get relief supplies to people living in rural and maritime communities.
Teams have been deployed to Koro today to assess the extent of the damage and provide medical services, food supply, and temporary shelter and restore utility services and telecommunications.
Medical teams have also been mobilized to evacuation centers to provide health services for areas where medical services are inaccessible. The Ministry for Health is also working with humanitarian organizations to deliver medical equipment and services.
In the interest of getting students back to school next week, the Prime Minister has also requested that education officials explore alternative options for Fijians using schools as evacuation centres. Many schools require substantial clean up and repairs ahead of their scheduled re-openings next Monday.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that while the curfew has been lifted, people should remain cautious and limit their movement as much as possible. To preserve public safety, shipping services will remain suspended and local flights will remain limited.