Saturday, May 18, 2024
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$9m budget for cyclone recovery program

The Government has received an additional funding of $9 million from the Australian Government for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Cyclone Recovery Program.

The support is intended for the rehabilitation of schools in the North that were damaged by TC Yasa and the reconstruction of the Vunisea Hospital in Kadavu and the Waiyevo Hospital in Taveuni.

In a joint press conference with the Australian High Commission in Fiji Chargé d’affaires, Stuart Watts, Minister for Finance Biman Prasad said the Fiji Government is grateful to the Australian Government for its assistance to Fiji through the Vuvale Partnership.

He said this support for the education and health sector is very timely.

Prof Prasad said the total support, including those that started during COVID-19, is close to $370 million.

“This additional support amounting to FJ$9m (AUD$6m) is a critical help, given that we still have not completed rehabilitating the schools that were damaged during Cyclone Yasa.”

“These nine schools selected in Vanua Levu which were damaged by TC Yasa are critical infrastructure for our rural education – including Primary and Secondary level. I was able to see first-hand the conditions in which our students were studying in, so this help in building the schools is a critical and timely assistance by the Australian Government, and we are grateful for that.”

The Australian High Commission in Fiji Chargé d’affaires, Stuart Watts said that along with education, the strengthening of health services is a key pillar of the Vuvale Partnership.

Watts said local builders, contractors and suppliers for the recovery program will be engaged and this directly contributes to the Fijian economy.

Australia’s assistance to Fiji through the DFAT Cyclone Recovery program amounts to almost $52 million.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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