Every year the World Humanitarian Day is dedicated to frontline staff and responders who carry out life-saving work to aid people in greatest need in areas affected by crisis.
This year’s theme “Real Life Heroes” is about honouring first responders who have dedicated their lives to save or help those who are in need especially with two recent emergency response on Tropical Cyclone Harold and COVID-19.
This has been extraordinary for Fiji towards resilience and response systems have been tested by two additional disaster events of Tropical Cyclone Sarai and TC Tino.
While delivering his key note address at the launch of the World Humanitarian Day, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management, Defence, National Security and Policing, Honourable Inia Seruiratu said despite these challenges our partnerships and
commitment to our common goal of ‘living no one behind’ made a major difference to those affected by recent disaster.
“It’s difficult to imagine, this same time last year, someone seriously telling us that Fiji would
soon deal with a climate-fuelled cyclone while also working to contain a deadly and highly
contagious pathogen” said Hon Seruiratu.
“Such a situation sounds less like a well-founded prediction and more like something out of
science-fiction. But that’s the reality Fijians were living with in April of this year, as Cyclone
Harold bore down on our country smack in the middle of our effort to contain the spread of
COVID-19” Hon Seruiratu adds.
“This past Saturday, we saw the Pacific stand United, in a first ever virtual concert with our
talented diversity of musicians paying homage to our front line workers, and lifting the spirits
of our communities,” said Sanaka Samarasinha, UN Resident Coordinator for Fiji and nine
other countries in the Pacific.
“Today we continue to pay tribute to both those working on COVID-19 but also those who
have committed their lives to helping others through this, and the myriad of natural disasters
that we grapple with annually. Never has it been more evident that localization in our front
line responses to crises can be the Pacific’s greatest strength. Community led mobilization
has been vital at a time when there are point of entry restrictions, and finite resources. We
have not been able to call on external support in ways we have previously been able to.”