1 Feb 2005

Save The Children highlights plight of the poor in Fiji

4:18 pm on 1 February 2005

Eight-thousand children from poor families in Fiji's drought-devastated west are facing a major crisis in their education.

A survey by the Save the Children Fund has found the children are going to school hungry, lack bus fares and are without text and exercise books.

These children are in danger of dropping out while others cannot go to school at all.

The survey has found that farmers in the Tavua and Rakiraki areas are facing extreme hardship after their crops were destroyed by the recent drought and many are now living below the poverty line.

The director of the Save the Children Fund, Irshad Ali, says these children need assistance as soon as possible.

The Fund has asked the Prime Minister's Office and the education ministry for urgent assistance.