NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA To Aid Recovery Efforts in Fiji Following Tropical Cyclone Winston
Los Angeles, Calif., February 22, 2016–Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, announced today that it is assessing needs and planning recovery efforts after Tropical Cyclone Winston—the strongest tropical storm on record in the Southern Hemisphere—hit Fiji this weekend. The Category 5 storm, which made landfall on Saturday, battered the island nation with heavy rain and winds up to 224 mph.
Operation USA is calling for donations to aid in recovery efforts and funding for grant distribution to local agencies. The NGO is also seeking corporate partners across the healthcare, transportation, water purification, shelter construction, food supply and power generation sectors to provide donated in-kind supplies of which there is high need in areas affected by the cyclone.
“The cyclone in Fiji is yet another in a string of climate disasters of growing intensity which Operation USA is responding to around the world,” said Richard Walden, President and CEO of Operation USA. “Relief and recovery supplies are urgently needed at this time as thousands of people have been rendered homeless by the storm, with many remote areas of the island country yet to be assessed. Operation USA’s 36 years of experience and established partnerships ensure we’ll be able to quickly get supplies to partners in the country for distribution among those Fijians most in need.”
As of Monday, a reported 8,000 Fijians had been displaced by the storm, and at least 21 people have been killed. Experts expect the death toll to climb as remote islands are assessed for damage and casualties. Strong winds and flooding destroyed structures, damaged infrastructure and limited access to power and clean water, and reduced communications are exacerbating these conditions as the government and aid groups begin to assess needs following the storm.
Operation USA will deliver immediate relief supplies to Fiji through local partners with established community ties. The organization plans to focus long-term relief and recovery efforts on education and health programs for children and families.
HOW TO HELP:
Donations to Operation USA will be allocated directly to relief and recovery efforts in Fiji.
Donate online at donate.opusa.org
, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, PO BOX 36188, Los Angeles, CA 90036-0188. Donations can also be made via text message: text AID to 50555 to donate $10. Text donations are collected for the benefit of Operation USA by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mGive.org/t
Corporate donations supporting recovery and rebuilding efforts—bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies, transportation and shipping services, shelter, power generation, water purification and medical supplies—are also being requested.
United and Continental air miles can be donated to Operation USA through United Airlines Charity Miles program at www.united.com
ABOUT OPERATION USA:
Founded in 1979, Operation USA and supports health and education programs to help children and families around the world recover and thrive in the wake of disasters. Whether reconstructing schools and clinics, funding education and mental health programs, or shipping medical equipment to hospitals worldwide—when you give to Operation USA, it gets there.
Richard Walden is available as an expert source on international relief aid.