26 Jun 2020

Humanitarian crisis growing in Fiji

7:35 am on 26 June 2020

An alliance of civil society groups in Fiji is calling for urgent action to respond to what it says is a growing humanitarian crisis.

Leleuvia Resort

Leleuvia Resort Photo: Leleuvia Resort

The alliance said thousands of Covid-19-related job losses had led to weak food security, poor access to health, education and other essential services.

Households in the tourist dependent Western Division each have as many as seven people without work and savings are running out, it warned.

Families are turning to the land and sea in the struggle for food, and reports of root crop thefts are growing.

Violence against women has increased by 200 percent since the pandemic began and unplanned pregnancies are adding to tensions.

The alliance has called on the government to implement a humanitarian response to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Fijians.

The call puts into context efforts by the government to reactivate tourism through its Bula Bubble proposal, which an academic has described as a sign of desperation.

The Fiji CSO Alliance for COVID-19 Humanitarian Response is made up of eight organisations working across different sectors in Fiji including: the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND), the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC), Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, the Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF), the Social Empowerment and Education Programme (SEEP), femLINKpacific, the Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) and the Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM).

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