A one stop shop centre for humanitarian response was set up in Nadi today by TISI Sangam, Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND), Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) and the CSO Alliance for COVID-19 Humanitarian Response. 

The new COVID-19 CSO Alliance Humanitarian Response Centre is a partnership by the group of CSO partners and TISI Sangam to better coordinate and streamline humanitarian support for different families and communities impacted by the pandemic across Fiji. 

FRIEND Director Sashi Kiran at the opening ceremony, emphasised the importance of collaborations as such to assist targeted communities in need. “For us to become immune to the situation that we are going through right now, we need to be united.

For us to be able to serve the community better, we need to be united,” she said. Ms Kiran said the location of the centre in the western division was due to the large number of requests for food and other services received from around the location. 

TISI Sangam General Secretary Damend Gounder acknowleged the support from CSO Alliance members and reiterated the urgency of long term preparation for times ahead. 

“It is not only about feeding people but it is also about giving them the right counselling, giving them the right advice, giving them some opportunity to actually get into some other type of activity which may derive some income or may supplement the shortage of cash through farming, etc.

They (CSO Alliance) all bring to the table this sort of strength and attributes that help us to actually go through this.” Mr Gounder said. Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali stressed the need for more like-minded partnerships “in the new normal”. 

“We want meaningful consultations where we are not talked down to, where we can talk to each other, learn from each other and share resources,“ Ms Ali said. 

She also confirmed that FWCC would provide counselling for women and men suffering from the trauma of unemployment and other domestic issues through the centre. 

The Centre will be distributing food rations, seedlings, facilitating trainings and providing counseling and certain legal services to those impacted by COVID-19.

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