x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Fiji's envoy to the UAE launches cyclone appeal

The Fijian Embassy is launching a drive to raise funds for victims of Cyclone Evan, which has cost more than US$100million (Dh367.3m) in damage.

Pita Turgagaviti clears away branches from a tree that fell near Suva, the Fijian capital, on December 17 last year, after Cyclone Evans. The Pacific nation faces a damage bill of $100m from the disaster. Joshua Kuku / AFP Photo
Pita Turgagaviti clears away branches from a tree that fell near Suva, the Fijian capital, on December 17 last year, after Cyclone Evans. The Pacific nation faces a damage bill of $100m from the disaster. Joshua Kuku / AFP Photo

ABU DHABI // The Fijian Embassy is launching a drive to raise funds for victims of Cyclone Evan, which has cost more than US$100million (Dh367.3m) in damage.

The Fijian ambassador to the UAE, Robin Nair, sent a letter of appeal to residents on Tuesday, telling of the devastation his country faced from last month's cyclone. Jumeirah Group and Etihad Airways have already pledged to help by offering hotel rooms and flights for prizes at a fund-raising event.

"This cyclone was one of the worst in living memory to hit Fiji and it caused enormous damage to homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, as well as infrastructure that Fiji's economy could ill afford," Mr Nair said in his appeal.

"The year of 2012 was one of the most unfortunate years for Fiji."

Mr Nair said the country was also hit by two major floods that caused widespread damage.

He added that, with the advent of climate change, such disasters have become more frequent.

The embassy will host a Fijian night on Thursday next week at the Beach Rotana hotel in Abu Dhabi, for Dh235 a ticket.

"We have 200 seats for sale and this will help a little in the work needed," said Mr Nair, who has just returned from a visit to his homeland.

Those attending are also asked to sponsor children's education.

"People who wish to donate money can and people who want to help sponsor a child can do so as well," he said.

amustafa@thenational.ae