6 Feb 2006

No cash grants for Fiji flood victims - Prime Minister Qarase

4:58 pm on 6 February 2006

Fiji' prime minister has rejected a call for cash grants to help victims of flash floods in the country's west and north over the past week.

The call has come from the opposition leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, who says the government should provide 1-thousand-200 US dollars to each family.

Mr Chaudhry says this will allow the victims to prioritise their needs and look after themselves.

But Laisenia Qarase has ruled out cash grants, saying this will only lead to abuse.

Mr Qarase says the flood victims will be offered assistance with food rations, building materials and other related needs.

The national director of Mr Qarase's ruling SDL party, Jale Baba, says Mr Chaudhry should hand out the funds he collected overseas to help the flood victims.

Mr Baba says these are the very people Mr Chaudhry manipulates for votes and in whose name he raises money overseas.