French humanitarian assistance is beginning to arrive in Fiji. A French military aircraft left this morning from New Caledonia carrying three tons of humanitarian assistance from the French Red Cross.
France expresses its complete solidarity with Fiji following the passage of Hurricane Winston on February 21, which left 42 dead, according to the latest estimates. We offer our sincere condolences to the victims’ families.
This plane is capable of taking off and landing on short runways. At the Fijian authorities’ request, it will remain on site to carry aid to the islands that have been hardest hit. It will be joined this evening by a second aircraft of the same type carrying personnel and freight from New Caledonia’s Department of Civil Security and Risk Management.
In addition, as part of its partnership with the Crisis and Support Center, the Airbus Helicopters foundation has made a helicopter available to Fiji’s authorities for reconnaissance flights and to transport medical and communications equipment.
We are coordinating with the governments of Australia and New Zealand under the FRANZ agreement, a framework for regional cooperation in the South Pacific during natural disasters, which we have headed since October 2015.