NGO inundated with food requests

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Staff and volunteers of International Needs Fiji with food rations to be distributed to Fijians who have sent in requests. Picture: SUPPLIED/International Needs Fiji

International Needs Fiji has been inundated with food ration requests from the wider Central, Eastern and Western divisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, according to the the non-governmental organisation’s project manager, Esita Karanavatu.

With contributions from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade through its high commission, Ms Karanavatu said they were able to meet the needs on the ground where they distributed food rations to 106 families last week.

She said their target groups included all marginalised sectors of society, people living with disabilities, the elderly, orphans and widows, solo parents, those who had been laid off because of COVID-19 and families living below the poverty line.

She said they aimed to assist 1500 people in their three phases of food support.

“During this COVID-19 humanitarian response activity, food security is an issue that we are trying to combat,” she said.

“The issue that we are dealing with right now is mostly exacerbated with the restriction of movement which, of course, is mandatory but the ripple effect is felt by the marginalised and the poor in our communities.”

Last week, volunteers delivered food rations in Wainadoi, Lami, Suva, Nasinu, Nausori, Tailevu and Naitasiri settlements.

“So while the network is expanding and we are slowly meeting the needs of the people, requests and pleas for food rations are also trickling in.

“We hope that the little we are doing can alleviate the hunger issues on the ground and people will help each other during these trying times until we are out of the woods.”