Westpac in association with the Rotary Club of Suva East has embarked on a partnership to help Fijians facing food insecurity and other related impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rotary Club of Suva East President, Erica Lee said Westpac’s support comes at a crucial time when Fiji continues its uphill battle with the effects of the coronavirus and many Fijians remain out of work and unable to feed their families.
“Rotary clubs across Fiji are inundated with requests from Fijians who are desperate for support with food, baby essentials, hygiene products and personal protective equipment. We are working through partnerships with the corporate sector like Westpac to help assist families in need,” she said.
Kip Hanna, Westpac Fiji Chief Executive, said for over 119 years Westpac has supported communities throughout the Pacific and had partnered with Rotary and other organisations over the years to support health, education and humanitarian response.
“Westpac has given $30,000 to help families throughout Fiji who are struggling to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic,” he said.
Since the pandemic reached Fiji’s shores in March last year, Westpac has partnered with Rotary clubs and other charitable organisations on COVID-response projects.
Under the current partnership, the Rotary Club of Suva East will mobilise COVID response assistance through Rotary Fiji (a collective of 8 Rotary Clubs Fiji) with support from the Rotaract Club of Suva to help implement the project on the ground. With this funding, Rotary Fiji will provide food rations for around 250 families, 150 baby essential packs which will contain sustainable cloth napkins, 200 hygiene packs also containing reusable sanitary pads and 200 fresh vegetable packs to support better nutrition.
According to Rotary District 9920 District Governor Nominee and Immediate Past Area Governor for Fiji Vineeta Nand, Rotary Fiji has collectively mobilised over $370,000 and dedicated countless volunteer hours towards response and relief efforts.
“Given the growing needs of Fijians following the pandemic, Rotary Clubs in Fiji are pooling resources and sharing information to ensure there is a more cohesive and coordinated approach in how it assists the most vulnerable in our communities. We appreciate the support from the private sector and Rotary Clubs in New Zealand and Australia who continue to support us at this time,” said Ms Nand.