The interim government has endorsed the appointment of an agency to assist senior citizens in Fiji.
In a statement, the interim government said the agency will set up an Inter-Agency Working Committee on Senior Citizens comprising of both government and non-government organizations to coordinate, implement and monitor policy initiatives of Government in the area of Senior Citizens.
The interim minister for women Dr Jiko Luveni said that world-wide consciousness and commitment towards the welfare of the elderly is rapidly growing, and population aging is becoming an important item on the national agenda of many countries.
“In Fiji, while the proportion of the population of 60 years and older in Fiji, represents a smaller number compared to many developing countries, nonetheless, Fiji’s elderly population has increased over the past two decades with a further increase expected in the next 50 years.
“The UN projections for Fiji indicate that in 2025 the elderly would account for 13 per cent of the total population, and by 2050 about one in every four persons would be 60 years or older and about four per cent of the Fiji population would be 80 years or older.”
She said that this will ensure that senior citizens are given the widest possible opportunities to integrate into society and also ensure that the traditional respect and care for the elderly does not erode as a result of lack of public and government support.