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Fiji Time: 9:31 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Focus on poverty

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MAJOR focus will be given by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to reduce poverty in Fiji to a negligible level by 2015.

This was outlined in the ministry's 2013 Annual Corporate Plan launched by Minister Dr Jiko Luveni in Suva yesterday.

Dr Luveni said the corporate plan outlined the strategic plans and policies that have been designed to primarily complement the vision of building a better Fiji for all, reducing poverty by negligible level and empowering the disadvantaged and women.

"The Ministry has been allocated a budget of $22.6million under the Poverty Benefit Scheme which targets 13,000 households to be assisted with maximum monthly allowances of $150 inclusive of $30 food voucher," she said.

Dr Luveni said the second most important goal was to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women. "The economic empowerment has been ongoing and this year we plan to increase our national coverage to ensure more women benefit," she said.

Dr Luveni said rural women had been the major beneficiaries and this year, given the increasing rural-urban migration, the ministry would target low cost housing and squatter settlements.

"The third target is to strengthen child protection services through various mechanisms, for example, through protocols on adoption and foster care and audit of residential homes for minimum standards."

Dr Luveni said her ministry would also focus on creating a supportive environment for senior citizens and disabled persons.

"This year a National Council for Older Persons will be established to implement the framework of Fiji's policy for senior citizens," she said.