SUVA, FIJI – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $2 million in emergency assistance to help the government and people of Fiji to cope with and recover from the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Fiji for the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston, and my sincere sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones, homes, and livelihoods,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
Mr. Nakao pledged ADB’s full support to Fiji, both in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and in its subsequent recovery. The emergency assistance will be mobilized from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund. ADB will work with the Government of Fiji and development partners to identify priority relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction needs. ADB Vice President Stephen Groff will be in Fiji on 28 February to sign the grant agreements with the government.
Tropical Cyclone Winston has been the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere. It brought sustained winds of up to 230 kilometers per hour and gusts of 325 kilometers per hour. The cyclone made landfall on the main island of Viti Levu on Saturday evening, leaving at least 29 people dead and causing extensive damage to critical infrastructure and livelihoods.
The Government of Fiji declared a state of emergency for 30 days as relief workers assess the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston. Initial estimates indicate that more than 8,000 people have had to leave their homes and are now residing in over 50 evacuation centers.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.