‘Financial hurdles’

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, guests and participants at the National Poverty Forum. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Fiji Bureau of Statistics says financial constraints is one of the major challenges it faces in executing its role.

This was highlighted by the chief statistician Mitieli Cama during the national poverty forum at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay yesterday.

“For us the main challenge is the financial constraints, given that the surveys are hundred per cent funded by the Government. This is where the challenge is coming from.

“It’s the financial capacity for us to holistically deliver a survey.”

He said they noticed that their budget allocations had reduced to a certain per cent over the years but they managed to complete surveys and deliver their role.

United Nations Development Progamme resident representative Vineet Bhatia said he was impressed with the manner in which the Government had worked tirelessly to reduce poverty in Fiji.

However, he recommended surveyors to look into other aspects such as access to health, proper homes and education to measure poverty in Fiji.

“It’s the usual where poverty is measured by household income, if you earn a certain amount of money that will determine whether you are poor or not, this needs to change,” he said.

Mr Cama welcomed the recommendation, adding they would need to look into such areas when carrying out the 2019-2020 housing expenditure survey.

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