15 Oct 2004

Fears of increasing poverty in Fiji

11:21 am on 15 October 2004

There are fears in Fiji that poverty will increase as the costs of the basic necessities of life rise.

Already about fifty per cent of Fiji's population live at or below the official poverty line which is set at an income of US$4,000 a year for a family.

The bureau of statistics says there has been a marked increase in the cost of basic food and other items and global trends are pushing these higher.

The concern comes as the minister for social welfare, Adi Asenaca Caucau, launched Poverty Week Celebrations in Suva.

Adi Asenaca says the government needs the help of the community to tackle the problem.

She says if the media continues to preach family values, morals and virtues, it would decrease the poverty rate in Fiji.