Fiji’s Backup Food Plan for Times of Disaster

A new food bank project will help remote island communities in Fiji’s Yasawa islands be better prepared to have food supplies in times of disaster, even if their crops are destroyed, according to the UNDP (United Nations development Programme).

The project will also support Fiji’s Department of Agriculture to provide training on resilient crops and food storage, including approaches based on traditional knowledge.

According to the UNDP, seven villages in the Yasawas will be targeted this year for the initiative. The project will include crop planting and storage so there is food during a disaster, as well as raising money for post-disaster recovery.

The program is operating in partnership with the Pacific Risk Resilience Programme and the Vinaka Fiji volunteer organization.

“It’s a real honour for PRRP to partner with Vinaka Fiji, and its private sector partners, given the great work they’ve been doing recently in partnership with the Government in the Yasawa Islands,” says Programme Manager for PRRP, Moortaza Jiwanji.

“The Pacific Risk Resilience Programme aims to strengthen the resilience of Pacific island communities to disasters and climate change related risks. So it makes sense for us to work remotely in the Yasawa Islands, with people who are typically hardest hit by disasters and climate change,” says Mr Jiwanji.

Mr Jiwanji explains PRRP is about more than just helping communities in the short term.

“Food Banks, Knowledge Hubs, financial planning, agricultural training and other aspects of this partnership are very effective initiatives to help Fijian communities become more prepared for the impact of natural disasters and climate change,” he said.

“But there also needs to be a strong planning and governance structure in place to make sure these strategies will be sustainable. Climate change and disaster risk reduction impacts all development in the Pacific, ranging from economics to infrastructure, and so it influences almost every decision made by community, government, local agency or private sector operators,” Mr Jiwanji says.


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