La résilience
Climate-resilient planting material joint FAO and Ministry of Agriculture distribution in Vitawa community, Ra province. ©FAO/Senimili Baiculacula

Fiji | Belgium supports vulnerable households and farmers affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold


By targeting affected vulnerable communities, the project aims to strengthen farmers’ capacity to become resilient to future shocks.

Tropical Cyclone Harold caused widespread destruction in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga during April 2020. The Tropical Cyclone passed straight over Fiji’s islands of Kadavu, Vatulele and the Lau group on 7 to 8 April, and caused pervasive damages to infrastructure, houses and agriculture fields. On Sunday 12 April, the Government declared a State of Natural Disaster for areas most severely.

The disaster affected thousands of vulnerable people, including farmers of whom many lost all their crops such as yaqona, dalo, cassava, plantain, breadfruits, coconuts and assorted vegetables and livestock. This in the context of an already fragile population impacted by the effects of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Fiji. Following both calamity’s prices of agricultural products have sharply increased, limiting access to affordable and nutritious food and putting at risk food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable population. Small-scale and subsistence farmers, who are of key importance for the national food production, were in addition facing difficulties in accessing markets, buying seeds and other agricultural inputs, and struggled with increased food prices due to the impact of COVID-19, limiting purchasing power.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conducted an assessment on the impact of the Tropical Cyclone Harold on Fijian farmers to inform the food security response and agricultural recovery planning. Based on this information, with a contribution from the Government of Belgium, through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA), FAO is helping to restore the food security of affected vulnerable communities and strengthen farmers’ capacity to be more resilient to similar future shocks by facilitating access to good quality agricultural inputs to encounter food security and nutrition needs though the provision of:

  • agricultural kits (seeds, seedlings and planting materials) and the required technical training to 350 affected farmer households
  • poultry kit technical assistance to 800 affected households

Households will benefit from the enhanced capacity to produce, manage and supply their own, safe, fresh and nutritious protein source. At the same time, it ensures availability of diversified food in the households.  

The project is part of FAO's response programme and is being implemented in synergy with funding from other resource partners. The project is also fully embedded into the rehabilitation efforts of the national authorities and closely coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture other Food Security sector partners.