MANY households in Fiji remain highly vulnerable to falling below the poverty line.
This was highlighted by the 2012 Pacific Regional MDGs Tracking Report launched on Tuesday by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
The report provided relevant data that showed Fiji's path to achieving the Millennium Development Goals before 2015.
One of the goals is the elimination of extreme poverty and hunger which according to the review, is still a concern in Fiji.
The report noted the improvement of Fiji's poverty line by 5 per cent over a period of 10 years between 2000 to 2010, however, it said that the poverty gap ratio and the poorest quintile's share of consumption also fell during the same period.
The report stated that the underpinned decline in poverty in the country was due to the considerable improvement of urban household conditions, however, much is still needed to be done for rural dwellers.
The report highlighted that many rural areas showed no decline in poverty.
"While urban sectors benefited from high growth in output, agricultural output generally declined. Consequently rural areas showed no decline in poverty. In addition a sizable concentration of households were near the poverty line. In other words, many households remain highly vulnerable to falling below the poverty line." It stated that subdued economic conditions, high inflation and lack of job opportunities could reverse the decline in poverty.
"Fiji's economy contracted for two consecutive years since 2009 and is only slowly recovering since 2011. In addition, inflation, at 7.7 per cent in 2011, is yet to decelerate since climbing in 2008," the report said.