MINISTRY OF INFORMATION NEWS SUMMARY

  1. ENVOYS PRESENT CREDENTIALS TO FIJIAN PRESIDENT – Two non-resident ambassadors presented their credentials to His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House today.
  1. VITOGO COMMUNITY WELCOMES NEW AMEX PORT FACILITY – The Vanua of Vitogo in Lautoka has commended the Fijian Government for facilitating the establishment of the Amex Resources Lautoka Port facility.
  1. HEALTH MINISTRY COMMITS TO IMPROVING CANCER CASES ? Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma has pledged the ministry?s commitment towards improving the survival rates of cancer cases and reducing cancer morbidity and mortality.
  1. KALEKANA VOWS TO BECOME VIOLENCE FREE – The community support for government?s program on eliminating violence against women and children continues to grow.
  1. HEALTH MINISTRY RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM CHINA ? Ministry for Health has received financial assistance from the People?s Republic of China to assist and implement current strategies to address dengue fever.

1 ENVOYS PRESENT CREDENTIALS TO FIJIAN PRESIDENT

Two non-resident ambassadors presented their credentials to His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at Government House today.

Fiji?s head of state welcomed His Excellency Archbishop Martin Krebs, who holds the title of Titular Archbishop of Taborenta- Apostolic Nuncio, and the Ambassador of Mexico to Fiji His Excellency Armando Gonzalo Alvarez Reina.

The Archbishop represents the Holy See to various Governments and was earlier accorded an iTaukei ceremony of welcome by the Catholic Church of Fiji.

He hails from Essen Germany and completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has represented the Catholic Church in various countries including Burundi, Japan, Austria and currently serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand and several states of the Pacific.

His Excellency, Ambassador Alvarez Reina, who is based in Canberra, is a career diplomat who joined the Foreign Service in 1988 and was promoted to the rank of Minister in 2005.

He holds a Masters Degree on International Relations with Speciality in Pacific Studies from Deakin University of Melbourne and on Management and National Security from the Centro de Estudios Navales de la Armada de Mexico.

2 VITOGO COMMUNITY WELCOMES NEW AMEX PORT FACILITY

The Vanua of Vitogo in Lautoka has commended the Fijian Government for facilitating the establishment of the Amex Resources Lautoka Port facility.

The port?s facility ground breaking ceremony which was officiated by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will include a new wharf and a ship loading infrastructure to export Fiji?s first ever mined iron sand.

Turaga na Tui Vitogo, Ratu Viliame Sovasova says the $200 million project is indeed good news for the people in the Western Division.

?We are thankful and grateful to the government of the day for facilitating projects such as this,? Ratu Sovasova said.

?This project upon completion will provide 300 unskilled and skilled jobs for Fijians in Ba and Lautoka and this will greatly assist Fijians in this area.?

Sharing similar sentiments, Luisa Sauqaqa said that today was a happy occasion for the people of Lautoka.

?This ground breaking ceremony by the Prime Minister would not have eventuated if it wasn?t for the government of the day,? Mrs Sauqaqa said.

?We are thankful to government for enabling Amex Resources Limited to invest in Lautoka as this will no doubt have positive benefits for the Fijian economy.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama officiated as Chief Guest at the event and highlighted Government?s commitment towards improving the lives of ordinary Fijians.

?We expect the project to create 300 jobs ? both skilled and unskilled ? for Fijians in Ba and Lautoka. Of course, this does not include the various flow-on benefits it will have on employment and economic activity in the province of Ba and across Fiji?, the Prime Minister said.

?We want jobs and economic opportunities for our young people that offer good career prospects. We want growth and success for Fijian businesses, big or small. We want every Fijian to earn a living that can support them and their families.?

?That?s the bottom line and that?s why my Government has spent so much time and effort to make the necessary reforms and put in place smart and consistent policies.?

The Lautoka port facility will include a berth, a barge unloading facility, a washing plant, a stockpile area, ship loading infrastructure as well as workshops and offices.

?3 HEALTH MINISTRY COMMITS TO IMPROVING CANCER CASES

Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma has pledged the ministry?s commitment towards improving the survival rates of cancer cases and reducing cancer morbidity and mortality.

This was the address at the Fiji Cancer Society website and rebranding launch held last evening.

Minister Sharma said that ?Cancer remains an area of concern and we are grateful to the Bainimarama Government for endorsing the Health Ministry submissions made towards the establishment of a Cancer hospital?.

Fiji has become a state member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and representatives from the IAEA will be here to assist in the establishment of a cancer hospital.

The establishment of a cancer hospital will centralize all the relevant treatments and management protocols. Currently all cancer cases are being managed in the 3 divisional hospitals (Oncology unit).

The Health Ministry through its wellness concept has continuously advocated and created awareness on cancer prevention and control programs.

?The Health Ministry will continue to support the Fiji Cancer Society as cancer is an area of global concern? Dr Sharma added.

4 KALEKANA VOWS TO BECOME VIOLENCE FREE

The community support for government?s program on eliminating violence against women and children continues to grow.

With sixty communities already established partnership with Ministry of Social Welfare and Fiji Police, sixteen new communities have queued up to join the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.

The Kalekana settlement in Lami, Suva has become the latest beneficiary of the campaign and yesterday the village leaders were presented with a certificate of commitment by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.

While addressing the community in Kalekana, Minister Luveni commended the efforts of the male leaders for their own personal commitment to stop violence against women and children.? The community will undergo 8 to 10 months of training ranging from positive parenting, Domestic Violence Decree, Gender Based Violence, anger and stress management and family empowerment.

?It is encouraging to see that the campaign is led by the village headman and supported by the women and youth leaders. The aim is to empower communities through awareness programs for them to take action to stop violence.

?Women are key agents of change in their communities and initiatives of this nature will ensure that they become confident to stand and speak out for their wellbeing. It gives the opportunity for communities to work together with the government in driving national development through creating communities that are free from violence and crime,? Dr Luveni said.

Speaking on behalf of the women in Kalekana, their group leader Mrs Venina Rarebe said that issues of violence exists; however, it was not discussed openly in Kalekana.

?Kalekana has a population of 500 with more than 200 women who are mostly domestic workers. There has been few cases of child neglect, domestic violence and teenage pregnancies here. We don?t want these cases to be repeated and we are grateful to Ministry of Women and Fiji Police had stepped in to assist us to address these issues.

?We are motivated to see that for the first time in history of this settlement, a minister for women has set foot on our land to listen to the plight of women. Her message on positive parenting and gender equality, has challenged the men to become better husbands and fathers. It has inspired the women to never look down on themselves because as women they also have rights to decision making in their homes and communities. We look forward for the training and awareness programs to transform the lives of those who may be suffering in silence,? Mrs Rarebe added.

Mr Sikeli Tuicaucau, village headman for Kalekana said that discussions with Dr Luveni has been fruitful as the Kalekana women have secured government funding to start their bakery and tailoring project.

?We thank the Bainimarama government for reaching out to us; this is first time for us to meet any minister and have an open dialogue. The campaign we have started today is the foundation to build a brighter future for the youths and children in Kalekana.

?The opening of a bakery and sewing centre will provide new sources of income for the Kalekana women. This single visit by Dr Luveni has opened up new opportunities for economic prosperity in Kalekana,? Mr Tuicaucau said.

5 HEALTH MINISTRY RECEIVES SUPPORT FROM CHINA?

Ministry for Health has received financial assistance from the People?s Republic of China to assist and implement current strategies to address dengue fever.

?The ministry?s permanent secretary, Dr Eloni Tora received this 50,000USD assistance from Mr Yang Zhaohui of the Embassy of the People?s Republic of China here in Suva.

Mr Zhaohui said the assistance was in response to the Fijian Government?s efforts to address dengue fever.

?We believe that this donation will enhance the efforts of the Health Ministry in its fight against dengue,? Mr Zhaohui said.

Dr Tora expressed his appreciation to the Chinese Government for their commitment to this cause.

?With support from other government departments, development partners and other organizations we have worked hard to control dengue since November last year and this donation has come at the right time as we continue in our efforts towards the prevention of dengue,? Dr Tora said.