15 Jan 2009

Fiji expected to make formal request for aid from other countries

1:42 pm on 15 January 2009

Fiji's interim government is expected to make a formal request for help from other nations as it struggles to deal with extensive flooding in the islands.

New Zealand and Australia have already donated to the relief effort but aid is only getting to some of those in need.

The New Zealand Government is giving $US59,000 to assist.

Radio New Zealand International reports Australia is providing more than $US100,000 to the Red Cross and disaster management services there.

Tonga is making a donation of $US60,000.

The United States is to contribute $US50,000 to non-governmental organisations.

New Zealand officials in Suva say a request for help is likely to be made shortly and will be the first indication from the military that Fiji is unable to cope.

Police say 11 people have been killed in the flooding, although three bodies have not yet been found.