17 Oct 2005

Fiji outrage over spend-up for poverty alleviation week

11:14 am on 17 October 2005

There's outrage in Fiji at the government's planned expenditure of 36,000 US dollars to mark Poverty Alleviation Week which begins today.

The Fiji Times reports that the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre is boycotting the week and has labelled it as a pointless and good example of waste of money which could be used to help the poor.

The Centre's director, Shamima Ali, says the level of poverty in Fiji is increasing and there is no way out for most people.

Ms Ali says the majority of government projects on poverty alleviation tend to bypass women involved in such work with only a small portion of help reaching those in need.

Ms Ali says women's poverty is on the rise as well, with women being at the bottom step of the employment ladder.

The chief executive of the ministry of women and poverty alleviation, Emele Duituturaga, says they had planned to spend 60,000 US dollars but reduced to it to 36,000.

Ms Duituturaga says the week-long celebrations will be nationwide with training sessions for women and unemployed people.