Disaster preparedness and response

Tropical Cyclone Winston - ILO programmes and activities in Fiji

Highlighting ILO's working in Disaster preparedness and response in Fiji

Working with communities in Fiji
On Saturday February 20, 2016, Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston, an extremely destructive Category 5 cyclone, struck Fiji. Experts call it the strongest storm to ever form in the southern pacific, making it 2nd only to super typhoon Haiyan, that struck the Philippines in 2013. According to the post disaster needs assessment (PDNA), the estimated value of disaster effects arising from TC Winston in Fiji is F$1.99 billion (US$0.9 billion), including F$1.29 billion (US$0.6 billion) in damage and F$0.70 billion (US$0.3 billion) in losses.

 The combined value of destroyed assets and disruptions in the production of goods and services is equivalent to about one fifth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and economic growth is estimated to reduce by 2.5% relative to the 2016 pre-cyclone forecast.  TC Winston will, therefore, have a significant negative impact on the overall performance of the national economy and likewise on the quality of life.

 According to the Employment, Livelihoods and Social Impact (ELSI) assessment of the PDNA , TC Winston affected approximately 540,400 people, or approximately 62% of Fiji’s total population with estimated losses of 14,450,129 work days and F$351.45 million in personal income.

The ILO technical assistance was channeled through Country Programme Outcome (CPO) FJI126 –-Adoption of a national employment policy with effective implementation strategies to implement programmes on the ground. This is in alignment to the comprehensive employment policy framework being developed. ILO’s overall technical assistance focusses on:
  • Community Based Emergency Employment (CBEE) – a pilot that targeted the villages of Nabulini, Manu and Naibita in the province of Tailevu. The CBEE included a basket of programmes that included cash for work for clearing debris for planting, training on child labour and OSH, tools for clearing and farming, seedlings and tops for planting, registration for overseas seasonal work and link to social security.
  • Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) – a first for Fiji to include the Employment, Livelihoods & Social Protection (ELSP) methodology where the ILO was the lead UN agency. The ILO also brought in renounced PDNA developer Ms Asha Kambon as lead consultant and trainer for the ELSP chapter.
  • Resilient Employment and Livelihoods through Enterprise And Skills Development – An ILO-UNDP-Government Joint Programme that focusses on supporting informal micro enterprises affected by the cyclone and necessary skills demanded by the booming construction sector.