Assistance packages to ease burden

A SPECIFIC package to assist those who have lost their homes or whose homes have been partially damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston will be announced by the Prime Minister soon.

And Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said this was besides the assistance offered to members of the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).

Addressing the nation yesterday, he said FNPF members affected could now get immediate assistance up to $5000, adding assistance was also offered through the housing allocation for those who experienced greater damage.

“FNPF is also making $1000 available to its members for immediate disaster relief, with an additional $5000 available for home repairs. For those who have experienced even greater damage, the FNPF will also offer greater assistance through the housing allocation fund so that you can rebuild your homes and put this disaster behind you as soon as possible,” Mr Bainimarama said.

He said the destruction caused by the cyclone had put many Fijians in a tight spot financially, which prompted the Ministry of Finance to meet the banking industry to develop assistance packages.

He said banks had given assurances that existing clients’ loans could be restructured in light of those events. A new product is expected to be released by the Association of Banks in Fiji on Friday that will allow Fijians to take out unsecured loans to repair their homes at affordable interest rates.

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