The Fijians became beggars at a very fast pace, said the UN assessment. The coronacrisis has ruined the touristic sector, the main source for living for the island residents. A drastic increase in poverty rates in Fiji raises the risk of falling into poverty, Xinhua reported on Thursday.
Fiji’s economy is falling down amid the coronacrisis, says the recent United Nations socio-economic impact assessment of the Asia Pacific island. More than 200,000 people including children in Fiji could fall below the poverty line.
According to the UN Women Fiji multi-country office representative Sandra Bernklau who led the Gender and Resilience Roundtable meeting on Thursday, the assessment indicates that in a worst-case scenario, 110,000 individuals and a further 140,000 children are at risk of falling into poverty.
Being a microstate with the heavy reliance on tourism, Fiji suffers a lot. Most of its residents have lost their jobs and live on reduced or no incomes. Within those statistics, women and children are affected disproportionately by the lockdown.
Bernklau has presented a program called “Strengthening Women’s Resilience to Disasters”, which aimed at putting together by the Women’s Ministry and the UN Women will help out in ways to address the issue.
“This program is exciting because it’s looking at the whole experience of women’s and girls’ lives with regards to disasters and it is looking at an out result of building stronger and more resilient communities.”
Department of Women Principal Research Officer Amelia Nairoba said the program is timely given the current economic situation on the island nation.
“I would say that through our discussions today we will provide a way forward and directions as to how we can design our Women Resilience Program for Fiji and having to map out strategic interventions in promoting and mobilizing women’s leadership in building resilience in Fiji.”