Save the Children New Zealand has today launched an emergency appeal to help feed hundreds of Fijian families decimated by COVID-19.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Fiji, Save the Children is providing grocery packs to feed the hundreds of hungry children whose families’ incomes have been impacted.

This week, Save the Children Fiji delivered grocery packs containing much-needed food supplies, soap, surgical masks, nappies and sanitary pads to around 120 families in need in the Suva-Nasinu corridor and Nausori.

Aimed at helping single parents, families with young children, families who have children with special needs and grandparents looking after their grandchildren, the organisation has had more than 1000 requests for assistance, and with limited supplies, Save the Children New Zealand has launched an appeal to help reach more families in need.

Save the Children New Zealand Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee says with as the pandemic wreaks devastation in Fiji, still recovering from last year’s major tropical cyclones, children’s basic rights to survival and health are under threat and we need to help.

“Children are starving as families and communities struggle to find enough food to survive and this is the fastest way to reach those in need. We all understand the devastating impact of this deadly disease, and we’re asking New Zealanders who have the means to please give to this appeal. These grocery packs will help save the lives of many children and help protect a generation for Fiji’s future rebuild.”

Save the Children hopes to raise enough funding to reach the hundreds of families currently on the wait list for grocery packs.

Save the Children Fiji Chief Executive Officer Shairana Ali says that with Fiji’s densely populated areas under lockdown for weeks, thousands of families have not been able to work and provide for their families.

“Many families have told us they are exhausted. Whatever little savings they had are gone and they are turning to organisations like Save the Children. Many parents are going hungry to stretch out whatever little food they have to be able to feed their children. Shelves are empty in kitchens and tensions are high in homes unable to provide for children’s basic needs.” 

The appeal launches today.