The Tahiti Nui ship berthed at Suva Port yesterday morning to deliver the consignment of relief items provided by French Polynesia to assist Fiji’s rebuilding and rehabilitation work in response to TC Yasa.

The humanitarian assistance provided by French Polynesia is valued at more than FJD $428 000 and it is coordinated through the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs

. The consignment comprises of a total 64 tons of relief items, building materials and construction equipment and tools. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), Fiji Navy, Fiji Ports, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji were present at the site to facilitate the arrival of Tahiti Nui.

.The Team worked collaboratively to facilitate the offloading of relief items within strict guidelines and protocols administered by the Health officials. In acknowledging the timely support, Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs Mr Esala Nayasi conveyed the Fijian Government’s appreciation to French Polynesia for reaching out to Fiji with assistance towards rebuilding lives and communities that have been affected by TC Yasa.

He said the support from French Polynesia demonstrates its commitment to the partnership and friendship that the two nations have shared over the years.

The 16 member crew on Tahiti Nui was led by Mr Manuel Terai, special envoy of the President of French Polynesia Mr Edouard Fritch. In a special message conveyed to the Fijian Government and People of Fiji, President Fritch said that MS Tahiti Nui is “our Sea SHEPHERD to the Pacific Nations” and that the assistance is provided with the commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with Fiji and the Pacific Family and lend a supporting hand when the need arises.

He said that the people and the Government of French Polynesia stands in solidarity with the people of Fiji as they aspire to build back better. He said that climate change is a great threat to the environment and oceans of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). “Nevertheless, we should never be discouraged and never give up, on the contrary we should remain strong, resilient and maintain our Pacific Solidarity.”

While reflecting on the partnership between Fiji and French Polynesia, Manuel Terai said the humanitarian assistance is also provided in recognition of the Fijian Government’s commendable work with its development partners towards rebuilding lives affected by TC Yasa. Mr Terai said that similar assistance was provided in 2003 in Vanua Levu through same vessel, MS Tahiti Nui.

He said the assistance is an important element of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway that enables the region to assist the Pacific family especially in such great times of need.

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