The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing immediate assistance to support the Government of the Republic of Fiji and civil society to respond to Tropical Cyclone Yasa, one of the most-powerful storms to ever hit the low-lying island nation.
USAID is funding the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and their local partner, the Fiji Red Cross Society, to provide immediate shelter, safe water, hygiene, and other critical assistance in communities affected by the storm, which made initial landfall over Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-most-populous island, on December 17, 2020, before continuing over Fiji’s Eastern Division.
USAID also works with humanitarian organizations year-round to help Fijians prepare for and be more resilient to natural disasters. Through training and funding provided through these programs, USAID’s partners, including the Fiji Red Cross Society, were able to mobilize ahead of the storm to pre-position relief supplies, activate volunteer first-responders, and support the Government of Fiji’s efforts to respond to the storm.
In addition, the United States’ ongoing programs to mitigate the pandemic of COVID-19 in Fiji are helping communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasa protect themselves from the virus. USAID’s partners have been installing hand-washing stations and water tanks throughout Fiji, and distributing hygiene supplies, and educating people about how to stay healthy.
As Fijians take stock of the damage wrought by this disaster, USAID expresses solidarity with the Fijian people and USAID’s commitment to supporting affected communities during this difficult time.