28 Percent Of Fijians Receiving Welfare Don’t Deserve It, Says World Bank

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SUVA – Twenty-eight per cent of people receiving welfare assistance in Fiji do not deserve it, a World Bank report has revealed.

According to the report, 6720 people do not deserve to be recipients of this welfare assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare.

Under the poverty alleviation program, 24,000 people are helped annually with this assistance.

Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation permanent secretary Govind Sami agreed with the World Bank’s finding but preferred to comment further on the matter citing sensitivity of the issue. Two reports prepared by the World Bank ù “Assessment of the Social Protection Systems in Fiji and Recommendations for Policy Changes” and “Poverty Trends, Profiles and Small Area Estimation in Fiji (2003-2009)” ù were approved by Cabinet last month.

The report said many people lied and defrauded the ministry to get the assistance.

It also included the list of welfare recipients who were not deserving to be on the list. The report also commended government’s effort to eradicate poverty. This year, it allocated $70 million for poverty alleviation. However, the report called for a stop to the handouts, which some people had become reliant on.

The World Bank in its latest data said more than 31 per cent of people in Fiji lived below the poverty line.