22 Apr 2010

Fiji's Council of Social Services says poverty numbers are confusing

8:02 am on 22 April 2010

Fiji's Council of Social Services says there's confusion over poverty numbers in the country, following a workshop placing the level at 45 percent.

The Household and Income and Expenditure Survey 2008/2009 is yet to be released, but the Fiji Times reports the data was presented to a poverty alleviation workshop this week.

The executive director of the Fiji Council of Social Services, Hassan Khan, believes the new numbers to be correct or in fact even closer to 60 percent.

Mr Khan says there should be a more uniform measuring system.

"Whenever we talk about poverty people immediately think of a money line. If you do not earn up to 15,000 dollars or less you're below the poverty line. But when we define poverty we also look at how are health services, water supply, electricity, roads [etc]. In the absence of an elected parliament one is not able to really to have a more comprehensive picture."

Hassan Khan says money spent on poverty alleviation is not trickling down to the grassroots level.