#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Govt aid dashed as report says half a million Fijians living below poverty line

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Govt aid dashed as report says half a million Fijians living below poverty line

It was a grim looking Voreqe Bainimarama who conducted a post-Cyclone Tomas tour of the island of Ovalau and the villages of Tokou, Bureta, Lovoni, Rukuruku, and Levuka to deliver the mesage that his illegal government will no longer offer handouts to fund church buildings and village halls.

Speaking to Levuka communities, he said: “We urge members of the public to work hard. Stop relying on handouts. This Government will only see that our roads, water, education and other developments are done to move us forward.”

The message is evidence that Fiji is struggling and comes as the world is told by Fiji's Council of Social Services (FCOSS) that about half a million people are now living below the poverty line, far more than official figures have suggested.

The latest governmental survey on income and expenditure is yet to be released publicly, but it reportedly indicates 45% of the population - 360,000 people - are struggling.

TV One News is today quoting FCOSS director Hassan Khan as saying that at least 60% of Fijians were poverty stricken, their numbers swollen by natural disaster and soaring prices.

"There (are) official figures that (say) 20% of people are in the higher-income bracket, and (another) 20% are in the middle-income," Khan said on Thursday from his office in Suva.

"So, in the lower income bracket, under $FJ15,000, ($NZ10,800) - which is the poverty line of the government - you have the rest of the people."

The notional poverty level of 45% was revealed at a workshop on Tuesday and reported by the Fiji Times.

The survey research, conducted by the Poverty Eradication Unit of the prime minister's office in 2008 and 2009, was already outdated, he said.

The category-four Cyclone Tomas, which thrashed Fiji last month, put "a lot of people in very risky and vulnerable areas" and poverty numbers had also been boosted by the rising cost of living, he said.

"These are things that impact on our people severely," he said.

In a bid to improve living conditions, Fiji's government dedicated $FJD1.5 billion ($NZ10.9 million) to poverty eradication programs between 2000 and 2008.

"But how much has been used? We don't have any figure or any report on that," Khan said.

He said plans for a thorough evaluation of poverty had been slated for the past four years, but the Fijian government had told FCOSS "figures are not ready".

"So you wait and wait," Khan said.

Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua, the permanent secretary for Fiji's self-appointed prime minister, admitted it was "difficult ... to measure the impact of all this assistance that the government is providing to the people".

He told the workshop the government aimed to have only 15% of the nation living in poverty by 2020.-TVOne News and Fiji Government Online


P'fika observer said...

How do you account then for the recent world bankl report that said Fiji was doing well? The report acknowledged natural disasters but raved about the performance of the illegal government. Did someone get something wrong?

Anonymous said...

Poverty may be rife amongst the rank and file but the chosen few seem to be doing OK.

Running a country is nothing like running a military - ask Pakistan?

fijian-kiwigal said...

@P'fika observer
Obviously someone fiddled with the books so that world bank gets to see a different story!!

Looking at bhaini's face in the image above clearly indicates that he has more headaches on his plate now besides dealing with the fact he took Fiji by force from previous leceted government.

Let him dig his heals in and try and find a solution for the people after all he has taken over the nation by power of bullet and not ballot..let him sort it out. Meanwhile we will deal with the rest of those that are suffering in Fiji on a one on one community type inetrvention.

P'fika observer said...

It's a rather telling photo so I'm surprised the comunications team allowed it to be printed on their website. It doesn't do Baini's rep as prime minister any good at all. In pjotos during the height of Cyclone Tomas he was pictured looking positive and in authority. Someone is slipping up here or are they hoping we'll be sympathetic? Tjhink it's more the first than the second myself.

Anonymous said...

Was only a matter of time - simple truth is their (Fiji)is broke - has been for some quite considerable time.

Nobody - and I mean nobody - self appointed messiah's included - can have a billion dollar hole in their
budget and hide it forever - note how regime has gone quite on recent IMF talks regarding funding?

Fiji Democracy Now said...

@P'fika observer
The World Bank has NOT raved about the performance of the military government. Far from it. The World bank's half yearly update said ""Fiji's economy is expected to have contracted by 2.5 percent in 2009, representing its worst performance in more than a decade'.

The World Bank did repeat the original estimate given by the Reserve Bank of Fiji that there would be growth of 2 percent this year but this has now been revised down by everybody. The RBF prediction of growth in 2011 will also turn out to be false. That will be the fifth year of decline in our economy.

The World bank also commented on the huge exposure of the Fiji National Provident Fund to the illegal regime.

Anonymous said...

where are all the donors??? be careful, because as here is ample precedent for nullifying agreements that are signed by illegal governments....these people may well be ether dead by firing squad or in gaol within a decade all rumunating about how this could happen and all with amazingly poor recollections of who did what and who ordered them.