13 Mar 2014

Fiji poverty worse than World Bank estimate - campaigner

7:34 pm on 13 March 2014

A Fiji anti-poverty campaigner says poverty in the country is much higher than the World Bank's estimation that 35 percent of the people live in hardship.

A World Bank report has found 20 to 40 percent of households in the Pacific are unable to meet their basic needs of food, housing, clothing, fuel and medicine.

Savu Tawake, from the People's Community Network, says something needs to be done about the high cost of living, low wages, and the lack of financial support from the government given to squatter settlements.

He says the government saying it will provide free education, bus fares for children and the elderly and some social welfare benefits is not enough.

"Increase the social welfare to something that people can afford to buy food, pay school needs for the children, medical needs for the elderly. Of course, increase the participation of the people in the National Budget process, with the inclusion of the view of the poor."

Savu Tawake.