7 Oct 2011

Fiji reports serious poverty in Ba province

2:41 pm on 7 October 2011

There are reports from Fiji that the overwhelming majority of people in the country's most populous province, Ba, are living in poverty.

The Fiji Times reports that more than 50 per cent of people in Ra, Cakaudrove and Macuata are also living below the poverty line.

The Social Welfare Department's permanent secretary, Govind Sami, says the interim government is aware of the situation and this is why the poverty agenda had been put on centre stage.

He says there's a strong link between low education and poverty.

Mr Sami says households with children and elderly are significantly poorer and higher poverty rates for these groups remain an important concern.

Research shows iTaukei on average are slightly poorer than Indo-Fijians.