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Thursday 28 April 2016

ShelterBox Thank DFAT and the Australian Defence Force For Their Assistance In Fiji
ShelterBox Thank DFAT and the  Australian Defence Force For Their Assistance In Fiji

Australian military helicopters proved essential in reaching remote island communities in Fiji.

Getting emergency aid where it is needed most is often the biggest challenge following a disaster. When the disaster zone is an archipelago of more than 300 islands, as is the case in Fiji, the challenge is even greater. ShelterBox’s operational model of pre-positioning aid regionally meant that we were able to get essential aid into Fiji quickly. Partnering with other organisations, both government and non-government, meant we could distribute that aid to remote communities in their hour of need.

Consignment of ShelterBoxes from pre-positioned stock, being loaded on to a RAAF C130 transport plane at Richmond Air Base.

ShelterBox Operations Manager, Alf Evans, who helped coördinate our response in Fiji said,

From the very first days of the crisis, both the Australian and New Zealand military were vital to ShelterBox’s response . All of our pre-positioned stock in both countries was flown in using Military transport. We have utilised helicopter assets numerous times to get aid and personnel efficiently to where it is needed. It is safe to say the military support has made key aspects of our response possible ,and fewer desperate families in need would have been assisted without the unique, specialist service they have provided. Shelterbox would like to extend its deepest thanks to all those involved, and hope we can replicate this fantastic partnership.

Shelterbox aid arrives at Nausori airport in Fiji

In a quote from a recent DFAT Press Release, the Interim Chief Executive of ShelterBox, Chris Warham, said,

‘Challenging responses, such as this in Fiji, so often require effective partnership and a pooling of resources and experience. Quite simply, without the assistance and expertise of the Australian Defence Force, ShelterBox would not have reached some outlying islands so quickly.’

In the worst affected areas, ShelterBox aid was essential for vulnerable families.

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