New Delhi: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today announced a $400,000 (about 900,000 Fijian dollars) grant to the Government of Fiji to help fund priority recovery activities following Tropical Cyclone Harold, which hit Fiji’s western, central, and eastern divisions on 8 and 9 April.
“The Category 4 cyclone caused widespread destruction in several Pacific countries at the time of an extraordinary worldwide health emergency,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez. “The emergency funds may be used to provide support for the restoration of basic social services to communities affected by the cyclone.”
Tropical Cyclone Harold affected parts of the main island of Viti Levu and the islands of Kadavu, Vatulele, and the Lau group, causing widespread damage—felling trees, blocking roads, causing flash floods, and cutting water supplies, power, and telecommunications.
Early damage assessments indicate at least 182,500 people in Fiji were exposed to the storm, which destroyed entire villages. Up to 70% of homes and more than half of assessed schools and health centers in affected areas were completely destroyed or partly damaged. Extensive damage to agriculture, with 90% of crops reportedly destroyed in the most affected areas, has left families with little or no alternative food source. Outbreaks of typhoid, leptospirosis, and dengue fever have been identified by the Ministry of Health as major concerns.
This is ADB’s second grant to the Pacific to help recover from Tropical Cyclone Harold, after Vanuatu received $1 million in assistance last week.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.