India sends relief materials to cyclone-affected people of Fiji

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New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) India has sent over six tons of relief material to Fiji for its cyclone-affected people, reflecting its close ties with the island nation in the South Pacific.

'The first consignment of relief materials from India for the cyclone-affected people reached Fiji today. Another consignment is due to arrive by January 6,' the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

It said the relief material sent in the wake of tropical cyclone Yasa highlighted India's commitment to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support to friendly foreign countries as a first responder.

Fiji was hit by cyclone Yasa on December 17 and 18 that caused extensive damage and destruction of critical infrastructure.

In a statement, the MEA said despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, over six tons of relief supplies were put together in a short span of time by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and were airlifted to Fiji with the help of Air India and Fiji Airways via Sydney.

'This was possible thanks to the effective cooperation among multiple agencies in three countries to deliver the relief material to Fiji in record time,' it said.

The MEA said India remains committed to extend full support to Fiji's efforts to restore livelihoods of the affected communities and to build resilient infrastructure.

'Disaster risk reduction and management is an important pillar of India's Indo-Pacific Oceans' Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019,' the MEA said. PTI MPB AAR AAR