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NZ providing more flood relief to Fiji

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Media Statement - 21 April 2004

NZ providing more flood relief to Fiji

New Zealand is providing further relief supplies to people worst affected by floods in Fiji, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff.

Mr Goff said Fiji's government has asked New Zealand, Australia and France – who coordinate their disaster responses in the Pacific – to help with emergency shelter kits for up to 300 families left homeless by the floods.

"The kits will contain tarpaulins, blankets, cooking utensils, water containers, eater purifiers and other essential items," Mr Goff said.

"New Zealand, via the government's aid agency NZAID, will also continue to fund helicopter flights carrying emergency food supplies to villages that are cut off by road in the highlands of Veti Levu.

"We have already provided $50,000 to help Fiji meet immediate humanitarian needs. Fiji Red Cross received $18,000 to help replenish its relief supplies and the remaining funds are being used to charter a plane and a helicopter to assess damage in outlying islands and in the highlands.

“The aerial assessments have been very useful, as the only other option would have been to send boats to each of the islands, which could have taken weeks.

"The flights found there had been little damage in the Lomaiviti and Lau islands but many villages in the central highlands remain cut off, and in some places there is up to 80 per cent crop damage," Mr Goff said.

Torrential rains and flooding in Fiji began on 8 April and caused massive flooding across the country. Ten people are confirmed dead while another 10 are still missing.

ENDS


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