Acting Australian High Commissioner, Glenn Miles today launched the AusAID-funded report ‘Poverty in Fiji; Changes from 2002 – 03 to 2008 – 09 and Policy Implications’.
Speaking at the launch in Suva today, Miles said: “This report, which I commend the Fiji Bureau of Statistics for spearheading, will be a critical source of information that will assist in guiding the design of poverty alleviating policies and interventions in the future.
“For the first time in the Pacific, the Fiji Bureau of Statistics has mounted two Household Income and Expenditure (HIES) surveys over 5 years making it possible to obtain solid national data on changes in income levels, income sources and expenditure patterns.
“According to the World Bank, more than 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day. This is further acerbated by the significant global wealth gap where the richest 20 percent of the world’s population receives 75 percent of the world’s income, while the poorest 40 percent receive only 5 percent of the world’s income,” Miles said.
“Preliminary analysis of the 2008-09 Household Income and Expenditure Survey reveals that poverty in Fiji is driven by multiple factors and varies considerably by household and individual characteristics. According to the expenditure based estimates developed in this report, it was determined that in 2008/09 over a third of Fiji’s population lived in poverty.”
In addition to the report launch, Miles also launched a series of national poverty workshops.
“To ensure this report reaches poverty and development stakeholders within government and civil society, the Fiji Bureau of Statistics and partnering government departments as well as the Fiji National University will hold workshops in Suva, Nadi and Labasa throughout the week,” he said.
The report, ‘Poverty in Fiji : Changes from 2002 – 03 to 2008 - 09 and Policy Implications’ is authored by Professor Wardan Narsey in partnership with the Fiji Bureau of Statistics and follows last year’s World Bank report on Poverty Trends, Profiles and Small Area Estimation (Poverty Maps) in the Republic of Fiji (2003 – 2009) which was also supported with funding from Australian AID.
Miles added: “I am pleased to see that not only is this report user friendly, it also includes achievable sector specific recommendations which should provoke some ‘out of the box’ thinking for all stakeholders.”