NEW DELHI: India on Saturday delivered the first consignment of relief materials to the cyclone-hit Fiji, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
Another consignment is due to reach by January 6. The Ministry, in a statement, said over 6 tons of relief supplies were put together in a short span of time by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and were airlifted to Fiji with the help of Air India and Fiji Airways via Sydney, Australia.
Fiji was hit by a Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa on December 17-18, 2020, which caused extensive damage and destruction of critical infrastructure.
“The relief material sent by the Government of India, consisting of shelter and hygiene kits, will provide immediate assistance to the cyclone-affected communities,” the statement read.
“Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, over 6 tons of relief supplies were put together in a short span of time by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and were airlifted to Fiji with the help of Air India and Fiji Airways via Sydney, Australia. This was possible thanks to the effective cooperation among multiple agencies in three countries to deliver the relief material to Fiji in record time,” it added.
The Ministry said that India has firmly stood by Fiji during times of crisis and devastation caused by natural disasters like Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.
“The relief material sent now in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Yasa highlights India’s commitment to providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) support to Friendly Foreign Countries as a first responder,” it added.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is an important pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019, the Ministry noted, adding that India remains committed to extend full support to Fiji’s efforts to restore livelihoods of the affected communities and to build resilient infrastructure. (ANI)