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Fiji Time: 11:39 AM on Thursday 18 September

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30K assistance strengthens partnership

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

THE Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited gave $30,000 to the Fiji Red Cross in Suva on Monday, adding strength to a very long and fruitful partnership that was established over the years.

"Like ANZ, Red Cross is a global organisation dedicated to saving and improving the lives of the most vulnerable," said ANZ chief executive officer Vishnu Mohan.

Mr Mohan said Red Cross Fiji had a proven record of changing many lives and the bank remained committed to helping those affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

"It's especially difficult given many of these communities were only just beginning to recover or had only just got back on their feet after the major floods early last year.

"Today's donation to Red Cross Fiji is part of a $100,000 donation that ANZ will be distributing over the next few days to selected charities including the Prime Minister's Relief Fund."

He said it was encouraging to see companies, corporate organisations and individuals lending a hand in the restoration process.

Red Cross director general Filipe Nainoca said the assistance was very timely as they were preparing for the second round of their assistance to affected areas.

He said they were working on assisting some communities with access to clean water supply after water mains were destroyed in March last year. ANZ communication manager Lancaster Fong said $50,000 would go towards the PM's Relief Fund and would be delivered tomorrow. The remaining $20,000 would be distributed between the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprise and Development (FRIEND) in Lautoka and other charity organisations. Meanwhile, the ANZ Asia Pacific Research Pacific Monthly report January 2013 said the US fiscal cliff had been largely averted while China's recent data suggested a modest rebound was underway. The report said Fiji was still recovering from the effects of the global financial crisis and three separate natural disasters last year.

The Asian Development Bank had forecasted Fiji's economic growth would increase by 1.7 per cent this year. ANZ research showed the figure was lower than government's forecast of more than 2 per cent.

It also revealed trade flow remained on the weak side with some countries in the Pacific showing export and import contractions. The Fijian dollar and other Pacific currencies continued to depreciate against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, the report said.

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