Australia commits a further $774k towards Fiji’s humanitarian coordination efforts

Participants of the NDMO CSO Cooperation workshop at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Australian government today committed a further $774,602 worth of grants to Fijian civil society organisations (CSOs) in strengthening the country’s humanitarian coordination efforts.

The funding was announced by the Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes which will go to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), local CSO partners and the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA).
The commitment is part of the Australian government’s continued support to the Fijian Government in strengthening its preparedness and response capacity through funding to CSOs) and government partners.

Mr Feakes made the announcement while closing the one-day NDMO CSO Cooperation workshop at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

The workshop was aimed at encouraging dialogue around effective humanitarian coordination strategies in Fiji and its emergency preparedness and response mechanisms, and brought together the Australian Government’s CSO and government partners.

In closing the workshop, Mr Feakes highlighted Australia’s commitment to supporting Fiji’s efforts to strengthen local disaster response capacity, emphasising that central to this is inclusivity – leave no one behind, regardless of geographical boundaries, gender, identity, physical and intellectual capability and social and economic status.

“This workshop clearly acknowledges the importance of coordination between the NDMO, Government Ministries and civil society. It is not easy work and I commend you for your bravery and commitment to assist those in need, at times which require you to leave home and travel to unsafe locations,” he said.

“Australia is committed to supporting Fiji’s efforts to build resilience and manage and mitigate risks in disaster response and preparedness. In line with our international commitments, Australia places high importance on making humanitarian action as local as possible and strengthening local and national first responders.”

The grants announced today include support to:

– strengthen NDMO’s response capacity through upgrades to its Emergency Operation Centre and mobile unit (FJD213,669)

– strengthen CSO response capacity through staff training and prepositioning emergency supplies (FJD422,410)

– support the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts to replace damaged learning materials and equipment for 11 of the worst affected schools across the Western division following TC Josie (FJD138,523)

Fourteen CSO partners attended the workshop, including: Ramakrishna Mission, Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development, Ra Naari Parishad, Partners in Community Development Fiji, Save the Children Fiji, femLINK Pacific, World Wide Fund for Nature – Pacific Program, Medical Services Pacific, Oxfam in Fiji, Empower Pacific, Transcend Oceania, Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CAN DO), Habitat for Humanity Fiji and Live and Learn Environmental Education.

Fijian Government representatives, including NDMO, Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health and Medical Services, also attended the workshop.