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Impact and lessons learned during TC Winston reviewed
8:50 pm GMT+12, 15/02/2017, Fiji

The month of February marks the one year anniversary since tropical cyclone Winston, the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere, struck Fiji.
 
During the past 12 months Fiji has made progress towards a full recovery. Various initiatives contributed to this achievement, one being the TC Winston Recovery Action launched in July 2016 under the European Union (EU) funded “Increasing Agricultural Commodities Trade” (IACT) project implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).
 
The IACT project, which ends in February, provided approximately FJD$4 million (US$2 million) in recovery support, mainly focused on rebuilding and strengthening key value chains in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors.
 
The objective of today's workshop, which was held at the Holiday Inn in Suva, was to review the impact of the provided support and to share lessons learned by stakeholders, including lead enterprises and associations in the agricultural and aquaculture sectors as well government ministries.
 
While opening the workshop, the EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs said: “Through a range of different initiatives the European Union has been proud to play an important role in Fiji's recovery process following the destruction caused by TC Winston one year ago. The very practical support provided under the IACT project in key agricultural and aquaculture sectors, including fresh produce, coffee, cocoa, beekeeping and pearls, made an important difference, helping to get farmers and communities back on their feet. By restoring and strengthening disrupted value chains in the local agriculture and aquaculture industries, the project also contributed to building a more resilient future for businesses and local communities.”
 
“SPC is dedicated to providing scientific and technical assistance to support development in the Pacific region. In the last eight months, we have worked closely with our partners the Fijian government, the European Union and lead farmers, to provide recovery assistance with development goals. Co-ordinating efforts, in order to build back better supply chains that will contribute to building resilience in Pacific communities, which is one of the main goals in our strategic plan,” Pacific Community Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga said.
 
Justin Hunter from the pearl sector, Luke Fryett from the coffee sector, Savenaca Waqainabete from the fresh produce sector and Tomohito Zukoshi from the cocoa sector, were among several speakers who presented their conclusions and recommendations in the TC Winston Recovery Action Workshop
Media contact: Vivita Matanimeke: SPC Communications Assistant, vivitam@spc.int  or +679 337 9250
 
Mohammed Nazeem Kasim: Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Press and Information Officer, on email: Mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu  or dial 3313 633 (ext 110)


SOURCE: SPC/EU/PACNEWS


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