CID Talk: The Role of NZ NGOs in the Cyclone Yasa Response

Posted on 27 January 2021

This CID Talk was opportunity to hear from aid professionals from a number of New Zealand NGOs that are involved in the response, and to hear some of the successes and challenges that this particular response included.

Cyclone Yasa was the strongest cyclone in the South Pacific since Winston in 2016, and the 4th most intense cyclone on record in the Pacific basin. With winds gusting as high as 350 km/h, Yasa made landfall on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island on 17th December. The category five storm moved over province of Bua, but a hurricane warning was put in force for whole country. A state of disaster was declared, and a curfew was put into effect for the entire country. The National Disaster Management Office said at least 600,000 people were in Yasa's path.

The cyclone resulted in four deaths, and at Christmas time, about 6,500 people still remained in evacuations centres around the country. The New Zealand government is offering an additional $2 million in assistance to Fiji in response to Cyclone Yasa. $850,000 of this was provided to New Zealand non-government organisations to respond through their local partners for relief and early recovery assistance, including activities focused on the most vulnerable

New Zealand NGOs were an important part of the response, and in partnership with local agencies on the ground, continue to support the response and ongoing recovery from Yasa’s impact. Particularly, as Fiji continues to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, traditional response mechanisms have included new challenges.


Humanitarian Pacific Islands