Fiji Receives Relief After Tropical Cyclone Winston
Since the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on February 27, 2016, SPBD Fiji and MicroDreams came together to create awareness and raise funds to help those affected. The Cyclone had completely destroyed 55,000 homes and resulted in 44 deaths. Around 205 SPBD Centers were badly affected by the storm. SPBD and MicroDreams developed the TC Winston Relief and Rehabilitation Program. This program provided members with relief aid and equipment packs to rebuild.
Primarily, the relief portion of the program brought aid to 146 centers, which included 2,610 members. Within these packages were household goods and a cash grant, meant to meet other needs. This widespread relief was delivered within two weeks of the Cyclone and was able to hand out 45 tons of goods to its members.
The recovery part of the program distributed Recovery Tool Packs to 75 centers. The packs, which included things such as rakes and wheelbarrows, gave members the tools they needed in order to clean up their homes and rebuild their communities.
In addition, in order to rehabilitate, the institutions implemented a grace period to its members, a rehabilitation loan, and a restructuring loan. The grace period, lasting about six weeks, was given to the members in order to provide them with breathing space. This space is essential to the program because it gave the members time to concentrate on recovering from the Cyclone. The restructuring loan reduced interest rates so that members were able to pay off the loans they had, while still focusing on rebuilding their homes. Lastly, the extra rehabilitation loans were given to certain members who needed refinancing of their businesses so that they would repair their houses, and get back to work sooner.
Here, members of the Verevere Centre showed their appreciation for SPBD for the relief packs worth $80 and cash of $50.
SPBD Fiji used its successful relief and rehabilitation program to implement plans for the rest of the year 2016. They plan to further strengthen the relief and recovery efforts for their Cyclone-affected members. This includes enabling their members to refinance their businesses and repair their damaged houses. SPBD Fiji is reliant upon many of its donors and now, more than ever, is a time for everybody to come together and support this cause.