6 Jun 2016

Homes for Fijians a 'mixed blessing' - Habitat

8:17 am on 6 June 2016

A charity working to help rebuild cyclone-hit homes in Fiji says the international community has concerns about the provision of grants to victims.

What Winston left of this house in Lavena village Taveuni Fiji

What Winston left of this house in Lavena village Taveuni Fiji Photo: Alex Perrottet/RNZ

The Fiji Times has reported that two people have been charged with making false declarations when applying for assistance under the Fiji Government's Help for Homes Initiative.

The police are investigating a further 17 applications.

Under the initiative, electronic cards are granted to people to enable them to purchase materials to rebuild their homes.

Habitat for Humanity is supporting the government-funded initiative by training people to ensure they rebuild safely.

Its New Zealand chief executive, Claire Szabo, said the grants were a mixed blessing.

"It has positives because it's a very quick way of getting relief into the hands of people who have been affected and by and large those will be well used," she said.

"But some of the negatives is that there will be generally a percentage of people who misuse funds that are made available to them and that's a real shame."