The United Nations has been providing assistance to Fiji, where recent heavy rains have claimed 11 lives and forced over 10,000 people from their homes.
The Pacific island nation’s National Disaster Management Office reported that the flooding, caused by rains which fell mainly between 7 and 10 January, will recede over the coming days, allowing people to return to their homes. But it cautioned that Fijians still face health, sanitation and livelihood challenges.
The Office said that 10,556 evacuees are taking shelter in 156 centres, with the death toll having climbed to 11 with one person still missing.
Fiji’s Interim Government last week asked international partners for immediate necessities, including 200 large water tanks, 6,000 water containers and 300,000 water purification tablets.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), among other agencies, offered their support in technical assessment during the early assessment phase. UNDP has secured $100,000 to review the impact of the floods on the agricultural sector, while UNICEF is conducting rapid assessments on the nutritional status of breastfeeding mothers, children, infants and other groups requiring special attention.
To address water shortages, UNICEF is providing water tanks, water containers and water purification tablets, among other supplies.
For its part, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is helping introduce a surveillance system for diarrhoea, prolonged and acute fever and acute respiratory infections, while the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is supplying reproductive health materials, including clinical delivery assistance kits.