‘Poverty rate stands at 28.1 per cent’

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa . Picture: SUPPLIED

THE poverty rate in Fiji stands at 28.1 per cent, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa said during the national poverty forum at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay yesterday.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said previous reports indicated that poverty had gradually decreased over the years which indicated what the Government had done to bring about positive impacts on the economy.

Poverty, she said, was the state where one lacked the usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

However, Mrs Vuniwaqa said Fiji fell under the category of relative poverty as people had adequate access to basic needs such as food, water and shelter.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the reality is that poverty impacts us all in one way or another. Poverty is a crosscutting issue that affects individuals, families, communities and the nation as a whole,” she said. “Poverty is a multidimensional issue that affects the most vulnerable and disadvantaged Fijians and can be addressed through a multi–sectorial approach.

“Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa said the issue could be addressed through a collective collaboration between government and development partners through a multi-sectorial approach.

“When considering the implications of poverty, we need to seriously consider why we are here today.

We are here today so that government ministries, partner agencies and stakeholders are able to strengthen collaboration and partnership; improve data sharing and promote gender mainstreaming and inclusiveness together for a common goal,” she said.

More Stories