Disaster preparedness and response

Maximising employment and social protection outcomes in crisis response programmes

Tropical Cyclone Winston

News | 04 March 2016
ILO presenting to Fiji government on previous experiences in crisis response
The category 5 tropical cyclone Winston (TCW)  made landfall in Fiji on 20 February 2016 is the strongest storm to ever form in the Southern Pacific, making it second only to super typhoon Haiyan, that struck the Philippines in 2013. 350,000 people are reported to be affected with 43 deaths and 24,000 houses destroyed. 250,000 people are in need of clean water, sanitation and hygiene assistance and 60,000 school children have been affected.  The Fiji Government has declared a state of natural disaster and puts current estimated damages at US$500 million.

With 92% of destruction in rural and semi urban areas and 73.8% of (EUS, 2011) of workers in informal employment, unemployment and poverty is predicted to increase. Thus the majority of workers in the informal sector do not have access to social protection, However, formal sector workers are able to access their provident fund to withdraw to repair property or to reduce the burden of loss of income.

The ILO has made presentations to government on possible Emergency Employment Programmes that could be adapted and implemented in Fiji, based on ILO’s previous experiences in crisis response in Fiji (2012 Floods, 2014 Village relocation), in Solomon Island (2014 Floods) and Vanuatu (2014 Cyclone Pam). During the humanitarian phase, the ILO is working with the Ministry of Employment, Productivity & Industrial; Relations, through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) structures and the Agriculture, Protection and Housing clusters to develop and implement community based emergency employment programmes.