Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji with destructive winds reaching up to 325kms per hour on Saturday 20 February 2016. The category five storm is thought to be the biggest to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere and has caused widespread devastation to communities.
Immediately following Cyclone Winston, the Fiji Government declared a nation-wide state of emergency. 350,000 people have been impacted by this disaster, and a third of these people are in urgent need of shelter. At least 18,000 houses are estimated to have been damaged or destroyed.
The storm destroyed vast areas of crops, and more than 160,000 people are in need of food assistance. Many people are also without access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Winston has left behind extensive damage to homes, public offices, businesses, trees, crops, roads, electricity lines, telephones and bridges.”Iosefo Nainima, Archdiocese of Suva’s Director for Justice and Development
How Caritas is helping
Caritas Australia and the wider Caritas Oceania network are supporting communities in Fiji to recover from the destruction of Cyclone Winston.
- Shelter kits and non-food items for 1,000 households will be distributed to people affected by Cyclone Winston. These supplies were pre-positioned in Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam in 2015, and have been sent to Fiji for the Cyclone Winston response.
- Caritas is supporting the Archdiocese of Suva’s recovery response, which will focus on shelter, water and sanitation, and psychosocial care for communities devastated by the Cyclone.
- We are supporting our long-term partner, the Tutu Rural Training Centre, by providing food parcels, and replanting destroyed crops (such as coconuts and taro) to ensure food security and restore income sources.
- Our other long-term partner, People’s Community Network (PCN), has been supporting families sheltering in evacuation centres by meeting their immediate needs. Caritas will continue to work with PCN on a longer-term recovery program.
How you can help
We encourage all supporters, including parishes and schools, who wish to support Fiji to donate through our Lenten appeal – Project Compassion. The support we receive through Project Compassion helps us deliver our vital long-term development programs, respond to emergencies and build the resilience of communities, like those in Fiji, to future disasters. Donate now »
Donations $2 and over are tax deductible