Kiran: Decrease in Fiji’s poverty rate ‘hard to digest’

FRIENDS Fiji director Sashi Kiran speaking at a joint press conference with FWCC in Suva on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

FRIEND Fiji director Sashi Kiran says food packages are still being distributed to people heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the World Bank estimation that Fiji’s 2019-2020 poverty rate has dropped from 29 per cent to 24.1 per cent.

During a media conference at the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre in Suva yesterday, the philanthropist said it was hard to digest that Fiji’s poverty rate had decreased because the problems on the ground said otherwise.

“We are on the ground, and here if you tell me that from 32.4 per cent, the revised rates are 26.3 per cent for the Western Division, it’s very hard for me to digest,” Ms Kiran said.

“We have people who are not able to afford mortgages, rent, and people living in shacks, in crowded homes, 15 to 18 people.

“We are still providing food packages from January to March, we have provided more than 4000 food packs in the Western Division.

“We have requests from Suva.

“People are still unemployed.

“We are providing medication, we have people with strokes and heart problems who were employed before and can’t feed their families.”

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