The FINANCIAL — The Government of Fiji and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on February 29 signed a $2 million grant agreement to finance relief efforts for communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
The agreement was signed by Fiji’s Minister of Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and ADB Vice President, Stephen Groff during a visit to affected communities in the western parts of the main island, Viti Levu, according to ADB.
“ADB’s timely support will be utilized to have an immediate impact on Fijians affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston. The Fijian Government has already started to try and fulfill the urgent needs of Fijians who are cut off from essential services, and food and water. These funds will also be used to provide immediate shelter and following assessments, a permanent solution will be required,” said Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum.
“ADB is pleased to assist in this time of need and we will work with the Government of Fiji and development partners to identify priority needs in the medium and long-term which we will be able to support under our country partnership strategy,” said Mr. Groff.
The grant signing follows the commitment conveyed by ADB President Takehiko Nakao on 24 February, pledging ADB’s full support to Fiji, both in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and in subsequent rehabilitation and reconstruction work.
This initial package of assistance amounting to $2 million is from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund. The fund can be used to meet priority needs, restore live-saving services, and support early recovery for affected communities.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.