Government Initiatives to Support Vulnerable Populace Unveiled

The government asserts its commitment to serving vulnerable populations, including the poor, children, and individuals with disabilities. This was emphasized by Minister for Women, Children, and Social Protection, Lynda Tabuya, during discussions on the 2024-2025 National Budget.

Tabuya stated that additional support for those in genuine need would be provided on a case-by-case basis. The government will continue prioritizing support services for Fiji’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Transport Assistance Scheme, formerly known as the Bus Fare Assistance Scheme, currently supports approximately 48,000 beneficiaries. An allocated $13.4 million will subsidize travel costs for seniors over 70 and persons with disabilities. Beneficiaries will receive a $25 monthly cash transport allowance.

The government has proposed establishing a Child Well-being Centre, pending consultations with relevant ministries and Cabinet approval. This initiative aims to assist at-risk children, including those struggling with addiction or trauma, and help them reintegrate into society through rehabilitation and training.

In addition, $250,000 has been earmarked for renovations at Vunirewa Bible School in Serua, a facility donated by the Methodist Church of Fiji for this purpose.

The Ministry has also allocated $200,000 to the Welfare Graduation Programme, designed to enhance beneficiaries’ skills through training and connect them with suitable employment opportunities.

Tabuya further highlighted ongoing legislative efforts, including the introduction of the Child Care and Protection Bill and the Child Justice Bill, which are currently undergoing a consultation process.

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