On 22 March, UN Information Centre together with the UN Regional Office in Fiji hosted a teleconference briefing on the Fiji Tropical Cyclone Winston Flash Appeal for the Diplomatic community in Canberra.
Streaming live from Fiji were Ms Osnat Lubrani, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, and Mr Sune H. Gudnitz, Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Regional Office for the Pacific in Fiji. Ms Lubrani and Mr Gudnitz provided an update on the situation on the ground, progress of recovery operations and the required additional resources to provide critical emergency relief to 350,000 people affected by tropical cyclone Winston.
Demonstrating the strong level of interest in the matter the briefing room was filled to capacity with attendees using the Q&A segment of the briefing to ask detailed questions regarding the Appeal and how their countries can better support the recovery effort.
Category 5 cyclone Winston – the most devastating tropical cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere – struck the Pacific island nation Fiji during the night of 20 February taking more than 40 lives and affecting 350,000 people, 40 per cent of the total population.