THE Australian government has spent about $600,000 so far on cyclone relief work since Tropical Cyclone Evan tore through the country in December last year.
Through the Australian Agency for International Development's (AusAID) Fiji Community Development Program (FCDP), funding was provided to civil society organisations (CSO) in the immediate aftermath of TC Evan for emergency food, shelter and psycho-social support.
According to the FCDP, more than 20,000 people were assisted through AusAID funding provided to CSOs.
Monitoring of the support provided to CSOs was completed by AusAID and FCDP and a meeting will soon be held to discuss how the aid money was utilised.
"CSOs provided with funding will be brought together next week along with government stakeholders to discuss the effectiveness of the aid and lessons learnt to assist future disaster co-ordination and response efforts," FCDP said in response to queries from this newspaper.
The aid agency said that after cyclone relief work was completed, the focus would shift to FCDP's primary role of strengthening CSOs to assist the disadvantaged in the country.
"FCDP's main goal is to deliver social and economic benefits to people in Fiji through strengthened CSOs.
"We are in the process of finalising grant agreements with a number of CSOs who successfully applied for funding in late 2012.
"The grants will fund CSO projects to mitigate social and economic hardships faced by poor and vulnerable communities in Fiji.
"FCDP will also continue to work with CSOs on capacity-building to improve their service delivery and outreach in Fiji."