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iTaukei have been left behind: Nawaikula

 

Sep 14, 2021 03:03:21 PM

iTaukei have been left behind: Nawaikula Opposition Parliamentarian Niko Nawaikula argues that the iTaukei have been left behind while others have progressed.

This comes after the household income and expenditure survey revealed that 192,977 iTaukei were living in poverty compared to 58,933 Fijians of Indian descent.

The survey said of the 258,053 living in poverty, 160,450 were in rural areas and 97,602 were living in urban centres.

"258,053 of Fiji’s total population of 864,132 were living in poverty. Of this, 200,871 were Christians, 41,042 were Hindus and 11,679 were Muslims.”

“A single national poverty line was set at $2,179.39 per adult equivalent (AE) per year, or $41.91 per week.”

“This means that a person in Fiji is considered poor if his or her per AE annual consumption expenditure is less than $2,179.39 or less than $41.91 per week.

“In other words, individuals living below this national poverty line cannot afford to buy the essential food and non-food items for their living.”

Nawaikula in a statement said the poverty gap between the ethnic groups of this country have never been this wide in the last surveys.

He said desegregated data based on ethnicity will show that iTaukei have heightened needs in business development, professional qualifications, education and poverty alleviation.

“Importantly, for the first time in ten years, the household income and expenditure survey presents important poverty and population statistics by ethnicity,” he said.

“In 2019-2020, some 36 per cent of the iTaukei populations were below the basic needs poverty Line, as opposed to a much smaller 20 per cent of Indo-Fijians.

“The gap between the two ethnic groups had never been this wide in the previous reports of 2002 to 2003,” he said.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

 

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