14 May 2010

New Zealand and Australia pledge money for rebuilding in Tomas-hit Fiji

7:58 am on 14 May 2010

New Zealand and Australia have announced further funding to help rebuild homes, schools and health facilities in Fiji destroyed or damaged by Cyclone Tomas.

The cyclone directly affected more than 39,000 people in March, destroying more than 500 homes and damaging more than 1,000.

About 25 health facilities and 15 schools were also heavily damaged.

The Australian government is contributing a further 900,000 US dollars to repair schools and health centres, in addition to the 900,000 dollars it announced in March.

New Zealand is pledging 428,000 US dollars to rebuild and repair homes, on top of the 285,000 dollars its already contributed for relief.

New Zealand's acting head of mission in Fiji, Phillip Taula says this work will be done by Habitat for Humanity Fiji.

"We're very much aware of the need to make sure that the reconstruction is done in the best way possible. Habitat for Humanity Fiji does have a very successful track record of reconstructing houses and cyclone proofing as we saw in January last year following the floods."

Phillip Taula says there's been a good response to the cyclone from the Fiji authorities.