The Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises Development or FRIEND says struggling families in areas from Wainadoi to Logani can now apply for basic grocery assistance.
FRIEND has joined forces with major food delivery service provider, Food Well Fiji to assist the people in the Suva-Nausori containment area.
Director, Sashi Kiran says they know everyone is impacted and the first priority will be given to people dependent on the informal sector and who do not have access to FNPF or social welfare benefits.
Kiran says they received 300 applications for help from the Suva containment area two weeks ago and they discussed with their partners on the ground and decided to support people.
She says they received 800 applications on the first day.
Kiran says they will be assisting people specifically outside the lockdown areas unless they get request from government officials or health teams as they know lockdown areas are high risk areas and they only work with government officials if their services are required.
She says they are glad that containment and lockdown areas are covered by the Ministry of Economy.
Kiran says they are still getting a lot of applications from Nadi
and has reiterated that the criteria is strict and not everybody qualifies for assistance. She says people on social support and FNPF assistance do not qualify for the assistance and only those who are extremely poor and are in informal settlements with no other benefits are the ones qualifying.
They are also coordinating with a few of other NGOs to avoid double dipping.
Kiran also highlights that for the first time in their two decades of organizational history, they have had outpouring of donations from people.
She adds businessman, William Parkinson from Parkinson Foundation has donated for the Suva Containment Zone and the rest of the money for this zone is coming through citizen donations.
FRIEND has assisted around 40,000 people with basic food items, seeds and seedlings as well as baby and disability support items since the second wave of COVID-19 cases earlier this year.
You can download the form for Food Relief for Suva and Nausori Containment areas on Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development Facebook page.
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