NEW Zealand's acting head of mission Mark Ramsden believes its aid program in Fiji has a strong focus on supporting disaster risk reduction.
Speaking at the launch of the 2013 National Disaster Awareness Week, Mr Ramsden said his government committed $7.2million last year as it saw the need to increase disaster preparedness and response component in Fiji.
"Disaster preparedness and response programs actively involve the community to find local solutions, which is vital for effective disaster management," he said.
"It means an increased percentage of the population will be better equipped to deal with natural disasters."
Mr Ramsden said his government's contribution, along with contribution from other sectors, would assist the people of Fiji to better prepare for, and respond to, natural disasters.
He also commended the theme for the disaster awareness week, Living with disability and disaster,, saying it was timely and well-considered because it increased awareness and understanding of the particular needs of people with disabilities during a disaster event.