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October 04, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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A welfare recipient is being investigated and 3000 cases disqualified as a result of an ongoing review by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to ensure that assistance is provided to those who are eligible.

Welfare Minister Dr Jiko Luveni in a statement said the review is to ensure accountability and transparency in welfare services. 

“The review team looks at the number of years a person has been assisted, conducts home visit to confirm on current living conditions and makes recommendations on their findings as to whether such cases should continue to be assisted,” she said.

Based on this review exercise, the 3000 recipients who have been disqualified were found to no longer qualify for the assistance “as their economic circumstances have improved over the years.”

Those recipients whose cases have been disqualified can write to the Appeals Panel for clarification on their cases, Luveni added.

She said the Ministry will also take to task those who are trying to defraud the system.

 “We came across a case in Ra whereby an applicant had falsified information on documents by changing the dates on medical report. We are appealing to members of the community to inform social welfare officers about those in their communities who don’t deserve to receive social welfare assistance.  Once such information is received, our officers will carry out thorough investigation,” she said.

Luveni further said her Ministry does not want a dependency syndrome developing among the able-bodied population.

“Those recipients under Care and Protection Program are assisted through the Poverty Alleviation Program to venture into income generating projects. The success of this reform can be witnessed at the FNCDP Sewing Centre and Women’s Market Booth in Suva where recipients who depended on social welfare have now been channeled into employment and income generating.

“It’s about “Changing the Handout Mentality towards Hand Up Mentality.”


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