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Fiji Time: 12:51 PM on Friday 25 April

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Focus on poor

Luke Rawalai
Friday, January 25, 2013

AUSTRALIA will focus on improving education, health and the livelihood of the poor in Fiji.

Through its AusAID program, the Australian government is working with civil society organisations (CSOs) such as the Fiji Community Development Program (FCDP) to provide services in mitigating social and economic hardships faced by the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Fiji.

FCDP representative, Michael Bronjohn said Australia would provide $A4.9million ($F9.06m) in grants to CSOs over the next three years through FCDP to provide services to poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

"In addition, a further Australian $500,000 ($F925,000) will be allocated to develop and enhance the capacity of CSOs in Fiji over the same period," said Mr Brownjohn.

"The program's intention is to support the delivery of services by CSOs to all provinces in Fiji, including Rotuma.

"To assist the broadest possible engagement with CSO partners, FCDP has established office locations in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa and our staff are permanently located in each of these areas."

Mr Brownjohn said FCDP began operating in Fiji in June last year and was officially launched in Suva in October.

"The first call for grant applications closed in November and are currently being processed," he said.

AusAID (the Australian Agency for International Development) is the Australian government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program.

The objective of the aid program is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

AusAID plans and co-ordinates poverty reduction activities in partnership with developing countries. AusAID's head office is in Canberra and has representatives in 25 Australian diplomatic missions overseas.

It maintains an office in Fiji at the Australian High Commission in Suva.