Christian World Service has relaunched its Coronavirus Appeal for Fiji in response to an urgent request from partner SEEP (the Social Empowerment Education Programme).
CWS partner SEEP is responding to the rising need and working alongside other non-government agencies in the Suva-Nausori corridor. Staff have begun distributing emergency rations on behalf of other organisations under strict health protocols, but they need funds to assist other families living on one small meal a day.
Fiji is experiencing a large spike in Covid-19 cases. The local health system is struggling to cope.
Until recently SEEP has been concentrating its efforts on the 43 rural communities where it works, making sure they protect their communities from infection and have the latest health information.
According to Executive Director Chantelle Khan, rural people while not facing the surge in infections that urban dwellers do, need to go to crowded government-organised border markets like Sawani to sell their produce. At these markets they can purchase basic food items that may not be available in their smaller community canteens.
Dealing with Covid is much harder for urban families who may have only one or two hours warning ahead of lockdowns and curfews that can last for 14 days. Food on the table is now a daily struggle for many living in the urban informal settlements.
SEEP plans to implement a circular economy as part of its response, buying root crops and other vegetables from SEEP rural partner communities with a surplus to use in the emergency ration packs for people in the urban areas. Priority will be given to large families and those with disabled or elderly members, including people living in the informal settlements. A ration pack costs $83 and where possible will include backyard kits for a family to start or replant their own garden.
SEEP will purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for trained staff delivering emergency ration packs, as well as distributing hygiene, first aid and PPE to 43 community dispensaries and nurses in rural areas – work begun in 2020.
“We are taking the best care we can but the reality is there is now widespread community transmission. We and our families continue to pray,” writes Chantelle.
Donations to the Coronavirus Appeal for Fiji or for another designated country can be made here – use the comments space if you would like to designate your donation for a different country.
July 23, 2021