Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

UAE to build three schools in cyclone-hit Fiji

The project will help areas devastated by the storm three years ago

A woman from the village of Namena in Tailevu walks in front of her damaged house after Cyclone Winston swept through the area in 2016. The super-cyclone Winston killed 44 people and was the  most powerful storm in the Pacific nation's history. AFP 
A woman from the village of Namena in Tailevu walks in front of her damaged house after Cyclone Winston swept through the area in 2016. The super-cyclone Winston killed 44 people and was the  most powerful storm in the Pacific nation's history. AFP 

The UAE has announced funding the construction of three schools in two cities and a village in Fiji that were hit by a deadly cyclone three years ago.

Cyclone Winston was the strongest storm ever recorded in the region, killing 44 people and wreaking damage estimated at more than $1 billion across the South Pacific nation.

The schools will be built by the UAE in the towns of Lautoka and Sigatoka and Lomawai village.

Saleh Ahmed Al Suwaidi, UAE Ambassador to Fiji, said the locations for the projects were chosen in coordination with local authorities.

The gesture reflected the commitment of the UAE to support human development and was an example of continued humanitarian efforts to support those in need, Mr Al Suwaidi said.

The Emirates Red Crescent would finance the projects in line with the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa to support the development of infrastructure in areas affected by environmental disasters in Fiji.

The development projects were signed by the ambassador on behalf of the Emirates Red Crescent in the capital Suva in the presence of representatives from Fiji’s ministries of economy, education and foreign affairs.

Fijian officials said the UAE’s support to development projects would revive the educational sector, promote social development and contribute to the reconstruction of areas affected by Cyclone Winston.

The school will be located in two large cities and a village in the archipelago of about 300 islands.

Lautoka is an important sugarcane-growing district, Sigatoka is a commercial hub for the farming community, while Lomawai village is known for traditional salt pans in which salt is extracted from seawater.

Updated: July 27, 2019 05:25 PM

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