Tuesday, May 18, 2010

$1.5bln spent on poverty eradication

Fiji has spent almost $1.5 billion in trying to eradicate poverty in the country but nothing has been effective.

This amount was spent within the period 2000 to 2008 alone, it has been revealed.

Speaking during the Consultation Workshop on the definition of the poor and their needs, Deputy Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Nemani Mati said the money however, has not seen effective eradication of poverty.

“What the government wants to do now is zero in on the target group in poverty and try to remove it,” he said.

Mati expressed his concern that currently there is no official definition of poverty in Fiji and sees it fit that the government gets down to defining poverty as a policy or issue.

“Government needs to define the problem and set out perimeters by understanding issues so that an action plan can be created to allow the eradication of poverty,” he added.

He also indicated that according to a survey, 40 percent of the population in Fiji was living below the poverty line.

“These figures should allow us to reach a consensus on eradicating poverty by using the experience of the government, stakeholders and the Non-Government organisations.”

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