16 Feb 2012

New Zealand commits more than US$1m to Fiji disaster management

5:06 pm on 16 February 2012

New Zealand has allocated up to 1.2 million US dollars to help Fiji's disaster management authorities get better prepared.

Last month's flooding in the Western Division caused millions of dollars' worth of damage to businesses, homes and infrastructure as well as destroying the crops of thousands of farmers.

The acting head of mission in Fiji, Philip Taula, says exactly how the money will be spent and the funding period haven't been decided but it's expected it may be a multi-year programme.

"The two main areas are working with the National Disaster Management Office to make sure they have the training and equipment that they need and second to consider evacuation centre upgrades. They're the two main areas of focus for the time being."

Philip Taula says up to 400,000 US dollars will be provided for the upgrading work.

He says at the peak of the January floods about 4,500 people were in evacuation centres.