‘Leaders need to pay attention to pandemic’

Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterpirses and Development (FRIEND) Director Sashi Kiran speaks during the CSO COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Media Conference in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

National leaders need to pay attention to the pandemic, the country’s economic situation and what can be done to improve lives, says Sashi Kiran, the director of the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND).

She made the comments as she shared the NGO received hundreds of phone calls from Fijians seeking help.

“In the early period of the pandemic, we had far less information compared with now where calls keep coming daily,” she said.

“Our teams have been pushing themselves to keep going continuously and we have been dealing with these kinds of numbers.

“I think it is a miracle in itself, people at home don’t realise how food distribution operates in such a situation, distribution in a flood or cyclone differs totally from the one in a pandemic.”

Ms Kiran said despite the lifting of containment borders, they continued to be inundated with calls from members of the public who needed food for their daily survival.

She said they would continue to focus on the health, food and livelihood of needy Fijians as times were indeed very difficult.

The local NGO distributed 900 ration packs in Lautoka and Nadi last week. Ms Kiran said business houses and individual donors had pitched in to assist in their food drives.

More Stories