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Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced a comprehensive relief package – the Cyclone Assistance Relief Effort for Fiji, or CARE for Fiji.
He said it would benefit an estimated 150,000 Fijians impacted by Cyclone Josie and Cyclone Keni.
“CARE for Fiji is an unprecedented and wide-reaching programme of Government assistance that cuts across Government ministries and departments to aid those Fijians impacted by the back-to-back onslaughts of TC Josie and TC Keni,” Bainimarama said.
“Under CARE for FIJI are a host of new Government initiatives covering affected Fijians: HOMES-CARE, FARMS-CARE, SUGARCANE-CARE, LEASEHOLDERS-CARE, WELFARE-CARE AND eTRANSPORT-CARE.
“And the first round of assistance under these initiatives will go directly towards affected Fijians living on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.”
“Under HOMES-CARE, households with an annual income of under $50,000 (US$25,000) who have lost items in their homes or whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the cyclones can apply to receive prepaid electronic cards to purchase materials to repair their homes and replace possessions that were lost or badly damaged,” he said.
“If your home was totally destroyed or suffered severe structural damage you qualify for $7000(US$3,500) in relief assistance. Those funds can go towards the reconstruction of your home and to cover the replacement costs for your lost possessions or household items that includes television sets, furniture, housewares; anything of value in your home that was damaged by the rains and flooding.”
“If your home suffered partial structural damage in the cyclones, say you had a wall collapse or your roof was blown away, you can apply for $3,000 in assistance to rebuild your home and replace your lost possessions. If your home was not severely damaged, but all or most of your possessions were lost or damaged beyond use by high flood waters you will be eligible for $3,000(US$1,500) in assistance,” Bainimarama announced Friday.
“Fijians whose homes suffered minor water damage and who had some possessions lost or damaged can apply to receive $1,000 in (US$500 in assistance to make any repairs and replace their lost or damaged possessions.
“Those Fijians under vakavanua arrangements are eligible for $1,500 (US$750) in relief assistance if their homes were severely damaged or destroyed. If only their possessions were damaged, they are eligible to receive $1,000 in (US$500) assistance,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fijians from all walks of life have applauded the comprehensive relief package announced by Bainimarama.
One of the worst affected villages in the flood-hit areas was Nasolo in Ba.
Nasolo headman Mosese Volavola, 45, said: “We see that the assistance is coming our way. About 20 homes were underwater. 100 people lost their goods and electric appliances in that storm. They say, they need the assistance badly. CARE for Fiji will benefit them in a big way.”
Tiana Duvaga, 32, a sugar cane farmer in Moto, Ba, said, “My farm is 12.5 acres and has always been affected when it floods. CARE for Fiji sounds good. It will help relieve some of the pressures.”
Sunil Kumar, 45, a driver of Nadovi in Nadi said: “I use to have a farm in Momi few years ago. The farmers would love this initiative. I understand what’s going in their minds right now, they need a turnaround.
“The Government has done a great job to keep us Fijians moving forward. It shows it is compassionate and thinks of all the people.”
In the Sigatoka Valley, Deo Chand, 54, a market vendor and supplier of vegetables to the resorts on the Coral Coast said, “Our area of the Salad bowl was affected with flooding. For the next three months we will be affected with the crops in the area where we have about 500 farmers. The assistance from the FijiFirst Government gives us hope for the future,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI SUN/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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