11 Mar 2003

Fiji group calls for transparency in poverty alleviation spending

4:42 pm on 11 March 2003

An Ecumenical centre in Fiji says there needs to be transparency in the government's spending on poverty alleviation and complete changes in policy.

This follows its report last week which showed that half the country's population live below or close to the official poverty line.

Father Kevin Barr, from the Ecumenical Centre for Research and Advocacy, says Social Welfare is receiving only a small part of what the government claims it spends on poverty alleviation.

"Last year, government said that it spent 157 million on poverty alleviation yet the ministry of social welfare only received about 13 million,... the rest was spread around various ministries in the name of poverty alleviation, but we want to know really who's the watchdog to see that that's really spent for poverty alleviation."

Father Kevin Barr.