Act for Peace's disaster risk reduction program helped communities in Fiji to be better prepared for the worst tropical cyclone in 20 years. Cyclone Evan left a wide path of destruction when it struck in December last year.
Over the past five years, Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, has worked with more than 500 vulnerable communities in Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and the Solomon Islands to develop disaster action plans and minimise harm from natural disasters like cyclones, storm surges, floods and tsunamis.
In Fiji, Act for Peace partners with the Fiji Council of Churches to deliver the program.
The Asia–Pacific region is the most disaster-prone region in the world, accounting for around 40 per cent of disasters. Natural disasters place already-fragile communities under even greater strain, and climate change is expected to increase their frequency and severity.
Alistair Gee, Executive Director of Act for Peace, says, "As the effects of climate change are felt, vulnerable communities in the Pacific need to be prepared to ensure they stay safe and protected. We are pleased that when tropical cyclone Evan struck, the most vulnerable communities had disaster plans in action to minimise damage."
Act for Peace has worked closely with the Fiji National Disaster Management Office, the Australian Government's aid program and the Australian Defence Force to distribute over 20 tonnes of relief supplies to affected communities.
Relief supplies, including blankets, tarpaulins, shelter toolkits, water containers, purification tablets and hygiene kits, have been distributed to islands in the west and north of Fiji to reach people in urgent need there.
Gifts to Act for Peace's Christmas Bowl appeal from Uniting Church members have helped to support this vital work.
For more information about the work of Act for Peace, visit www.actforpeace.org.au or phone 1800 025 101.
Photo : Act for Peace staff assist the Fiji government to distribute emergency relief after tropical cyclone Evan. Photo: Anthony Blake/Act for Peace