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Almost Half Of Fiji’s Population Live in Poverty

November 29, 2009

Ana Tudrau-Tamani – AHN Fiji Correspondent Suva, Fiji (AHN) –

Nearly 40-45 percent of Fiji’s population live below the poverty line and that is quite a high percentage, says Father Kevin Barr of the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA).

Fr Barr made the comment today at the Regional Symposium on Population and Development held at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

 These people he said face hardships such as poor wages, no regular wage earner, poor education, lack of access to land for food gardens and poor access to good water and sanitation, among others. He highlighted an Asian Development Bank study of Pacific Island Nations (2000-2004), where it was found that in Fiji and Papua New Guinea poverty was accepted as a serious concern, while in the other Pacific island nations, hardship was a common, widely shared condition.

 In terms of education, he said there are high literacy rates, only 48.7 percent proceed to secondary school and 66 percent drop out of school due to poverty. This, he said, is according to a study by Save the Children, Fiji. He added that “while education is supposed to be free in Fiji, there are many hidden costs.” These include the cost of uniforms, building fees, sports uniforms, among many others. He said the recent policy implemented by Government that school children not pay bus fares has seen a rise in attendance at schools. In concluding, Fr Barr said policy advice from institutions like the World Bank, ADB and the International Monetary Fund must be pro-poor and people-centered. “There is a strong need for a policy review,” he said.

 Fiji Council of Social Services executive director Hassan Khan, in a later interview with AHN said he agreed with the views of Fr Barr. “International financial institutions like the World Bank for example have fixed formulas for every country in terms of lending. “So of course, policies need to be reviewed to benefit the poor,” Khan said.

 Read more:    Fiji’s largest movement for democracy.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. lastpolarbear permalink
    November 30, 2009 1:35 AM

    Does anyone truly believe that there will be enough money in the Treasury to reach 2014 ?

  2. lastpolarbear permalink
    November 30, 2009 1:47 AM

    Watch out if you have gold fillings in your teeth !
    That just might be where Frank will get his next lot of money from to pay his simpleton Soldiers !
    Just like Hitler did !

  3. C.I.A permalink
    November 30, 2009 10:46 AM

    Why top nations are interested in our oil

  4. Peace Pipe permalink
    November 30, 2009 3:15 PM

    The dictator and iarse’s 2010 budget was amazing. Amazing that it still had money to distribute to all the ministries including the usual huge chunk to the unproductive and ever ready for coup army. Meanwhile while spiting the benevolent aid donors for demanding a return to democracy the criminals running the government readily accept their aid money and even tag an amount to it. Another aspect of the budget which I am confounded about is while they decreased prices in several unessential things they have not increased much of their source of revenue. Something is amiss over here.

  5. Mark Manning permalink
    December 1, 2009 11:07 AM

    The creating of chaos in any society, is a good way of breaking down the social fabric, while at the same time terrorising the community.
    Then when there is no resistance, just walk in and take over and do as you please.
    And that is the strategy of the Regime, and it’s working.

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