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Cyclones cause of rural poverty


Sep 15, 2021 12:37:37 PM

Cyclones cause of rural poverty The Pacific Island Forum programme director Zarak Khan believes there is a lot of poor people in rural communities due to the frequent cyclones Fiji is facing.

Khan said rural poverty has increased particularly because of the frequent cyclones the country has faced in the past few years.

His comments come after the household income and expenditure survey revealed that 160,450 were in rural areas and 97,602 were living in urban centres.

“Some families in the north have still not been able to rebuild their houses which was blown away by a cyclone which hit the country early this year,” he said.

“Farmers are not high-income earners as they don't have a big pot of savings. It will be hard for them to rebuild back their lives after their main source of income was affected.

“In the report, you will see that rural poverty has increased in the last few years particularly because of the frequent cyclones that are coming into the country.

“Farmers have to wait another three more years to yield their crops and vegetables. Cyclones really set them back,” he said.

He while speaking during the workshop said the government’s support to rural communities has been limited in the past few years.

“The government’s supports to rural communities have been limited, noting that countries like Fiji are now highly indebted, because of coronavirus,” he said.

“This limited fiscal capacity to try and provide the services that we rely a lot on our development partners to come in, superannuation funds to actually support a lot of livelihoods.

“I would say it's one of the biggest causes of poverty in the Pacific region at the moment, and I'm sure a lot of colleagues from other countries would acknowledge that,” he said.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka


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