2 Oct 2003

Some Fiji NGOs close down after govt fails to provide funding

9:30 am on 2 October 2003

Several Fiji NGOs providing assistance and help to disabled people have been forced to close down.

This is because the government has not yet provided them with the small funding assistance allocated to them under this year's national budget.

The closures yesterday involve services provided by the Fiji Disabled People's Association, the Association for the Deaf, United Blind People of fiji, Counterstroke Fiji, the Spinal Injury Association and the Disabled people's International Oceania Sub-region.

The organisations are unable to pay their monthly rent of 250 US dollars because the ministry of social welfare has not paid their annual allocations nine months after the start of the financial year.

In a letter to the ministry, the president of the Fiji Disabled People's Association, Setareki Macanawai, says such malpractice, delay and insensitivity must be dealt with immediately and not condoned.

Mr Macanawai says every attempt should be made to ensure that the assistance to successful NGO applicants is made available during the early part of the year to avoid such hardships and termination of services.