11 Mar 2016

Rations needed in Fiji for six months - PM

8:52 am on 11 March 2016

The Fiji government says relief rations to some of the worst affected communities after Cyclone Winston will continue for up to six months.

The Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the government would maintain this support for recovering villages and communities until they were able to cater for their needs.

He said Koro, which practically lost everything from houses to crops, would be supplied rations for a very long time.

New Zealand committed to help Lau

The Commander of New Zealand's joint forces says the more than 400 personnel in Fiji are there for as long as it takes to bring essential relief to the most remote islands.

Cyclone Winston battered the distant Lau Island group over two weeks ago.

Major General Tim Gall, who will visit those islands tomorrow, said crew are supplying water, repairing buildings and providing shelters.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Tim Gall

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Tim Gall Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Major General Gall said the New Zealand effort will remain focused on the Lau group.

"Because there is actually an awful lot of work to do there and the emphasis now has perhaps gone off Vanua Balavu a little bit and is now going to some of those smaller islands in the Lau group and in fact a little bit of focus into the southern Lau group. That's what the Wellington has actually been doing. So while the Canterbury has largely stayed around the main island the Wellington and the helicopters are now starting to work out to those smaller islands and make sure they've got the same sort of support."

Major General Tim Gall said around 100 tonnes of aid has been distributed and more is on the way.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands has committed $US570,000 dollars as aid to Fiji to help the recovery.

The announcement came as Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare toured parts of Fiji devastated by the storm.

The funding, dubbed SOLO FOR FIJI, is to go into the Fiji Prime Minister's recovery appeal.

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