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Fiji Time: 11:18 PM on Friday 25 July

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Cash aid for pregnant mums

Mere Naleba
Thursday, June 26, 2014

EXPECTANT mothers in rural areas and outer islands can now cash-in their $30 monthly assistance food vouchers provided by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation at any of the 58 Post Fiji outlets across the country.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on Tuesday between PFL board chairman Lawrence Tikaram and Social Welfare director Rupeni Fatiaki.

The assistance for pregnant mothers is aimed at promoting expectant mothers in rural and outer islands to attend antenatal bookings early into their pregnancy stages and also to eradicate malnutrition in the country.

Expectant mothers who do bookings in the first trimester of their pregnancy stages will continue to receive the assistance up until the first month after delivery. Women who are recipients of the assistance living in areas where there is no postal agency or post office will have to travel to their nearest post office.

Mr Tikaram said the signing was the conclusion of the hard yards covered by postal officers stationed in rural areas and in the outer islands during the pilot stages of the scheme.

"It's an important part because we are able to promote the objectives of this food program for pregnant women," Mr Tikaram said.

"We believe at this stage they should be seeking medical care in the early part of their pregnancy and by getting these food vouchers out to them through the Post Fiji outlets it's a significant step in making sure that there is an ease in getting these food vouchers cashed in rural areas."

The line ministry has allocated $1.4million for the project and is targeting to assist 4000 pregnant women.

So far, only 132 expectant mothers are recipients of the food voucher assistance.


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