30 Mar 2016

Three week post-Winston assessment begins today

8:18 pm on 30 March 2016

A three week assessment in Fiji identifying the government's needs following Cyclone Winston begins today.

The government said the Post Disaster Needs Assessment would allow it, development partners and donors, to collate and verify the damaged caused by the category five cyclone a month ago.

National Disaster Controller Meleti Bainimarama said the process will run at the same time as the ongoing humanitarian response.

He said the assessment will lead to an effective response and recovery in the medium- to long-term.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is giving Fiji a further $US6.9m to help repair public infrastructure damaged by the Cyclone.

Foreign minister Murray McCully said $US342,267 would be for building materials the New Zealand Defence Force was using for projects in the Lau Islands.

"The impact of Cyclone Winston was widespread and Fiji now faces the long and expensive task of restoring infrastructure," he said.

The original deployment of HMNZS Canterbury has been extended so it will remain in the area until mid-April to help with those construction projects.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully at the opening of Tuvalu's High Commission in Wellington.

NZ Foreign Minister, Murray McCully. Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

He said the remaining money would be used to rebuild schools, evacuation centres and medical facilities on Vanua Balavu and elsewhere in Fiji.

Mr McCully said the aid contribution built on the work already being done to help Fiji restore electricity infrastructure.

He said New Zealand would also use its wider aid programme in Fiji to help stimulate the local economy by providing targeted support to the dairy sector and agricultural exporters.

The aid package brings total New Zealand aid to Fiji following Cyclone Winston to more than $US10.28m.

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