1. DIVISIONAL HEADS GEAR UP FOR DISASTER RESPONSE – As Fiji gears up for another cyclone season, Government has reaffirmed its commitment to improve disaster risk reduction, mitigation and rehabilitation.
2. FIJIANS OFFERED OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY IN SWITZERLAND – The Government of Switzerland through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) is offering scholarships to Fijian citizens to study in Switzerland next year.
3. FIJI SPEAKS ON UNITED NATIONS ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT – Speaking in Fiji’s capacity as 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations has called upon the United Nations system to deliver on its mandate of poverty eradication.
4. UN BODY EXTENDS FIJI DAY WISHES – On behalf of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Director General of FAO, Mr Jose Graziano Da Silva, had conveyed his best wishes to the Government and the people of Fiji on the occasion of the Fiji National Day.
5. PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE GRANTS $54,000 FOR NCTC – A timely assistance of $54,000 has been provided by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Northern Christian Training Centre at Vunika in Labasa to provide a 3-phase power supply to the school.
6. KOREA OFFERS EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES – Eligible civil servants as well as stakeholders for government that work in relevant statutory bodies and non-government organisations are invited to study in Korea next year.
7. NABOUWALU – DREKETI ROADS UPGRADE IN PROGRESS – The upgrading of the Nabouwalu – Dreketi roads is progressing since works began earlier this year.
8. SERVICE EXCELLENCE TRAINING FOR DRIVERS AND MESSENGERS – In their pursuit for excellence in service delivery, the Ministry of Education held a Service Excellence Training for its clerical messengers and drivers.
9. HEALTH MINISTER CALLS FOR STRICT MONITORING OF STAFF – The health ministry is reminding its staff to be conscious of the needs of patients and stakeholders at health facilities around the country.
1 DIVISIONAL HEADS GEAR UP FOR DISASTER RESPONSE
As Fiji gears up for another cyclone season, Government has reaffirmed its commitment to improve disaster risk reduction, mitigation and rehabilitation.
At the opening of the divisional Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) training in Suva this week, the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu, said incorporating the PDNA model in Fiji’s disaster management processes will allow for a more efficient and effective response to national disasters.
“The PDNA not only gives us the opportunity to better position our collective capacity to response when disaster occurs but also to take on a long-term approach on how best to mitigate, adapt and minimize the risk from future disasters which has become regular than ever before,” Mr Seruiratu said.
Divisional officers around the country are being trained on the need for accurate and reliable data and transition from the conventional initial damage assessments to detailed damage assessments to the PDNA.
Minister Seruiratu said that the NDMO has been working closely with the World Bank, the SOPAC Division of Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and other relevant local agencies on the means of taking up a more coordinated approach to factor in the PDNA methodology.
Highlighting the successful compilation of the PDNA report for Tropical Cyclone Evan earlier this year, Mr Seruiratu added they will ensure that the fundamentals of these assessments are fed into government’s overarching national development agenda.
“The Strategic Planning Office will be highlighting some salient features on the need for accurate and reliable data for informed decision making, particularly the transition from the conventional Initial Damage Assessments and Detailed Damage Assessments to the PDNA.
“The PDNA will provide vital data beyond the physical damage to property, infrastructure and productive assets. It also accounts for losses resulting from the disruption of economic flows brought by disasters,” Mr Seruiratu said.
The three-week training, which is attended by 15 participants, is conducted by the World Bank and SPC.
2 FIJIANS OFFERED OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY IN SWITZERLAND
The Government of Switzerland through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS) is offering scholarships to Fijian citizens to study in Switzerland next year.
The application process will be administered through Fiji’s Public Service Commission (PSC).
The Commission’s permanent secretary Parmesh Chand thanked the Government of Switzerland for the offer of scholarships. He said that priority will be given to candidates whose area of work addresses Fiji’s priority areas of training.
“We are encouraging Fijian citizens who meet the criteria to consider this lifetime opportunity of furthering their education through the assistance offered by the Swiss Government,” PS Chand said.
The maximum duration for the scholarship is one (1) year for the Research Fellowship, three (3) years for PhD and 12 months for the Post-doctoral program. Applicants must be 35 years old or younger for the research scholarship and PhD scholarship on the first day of the application period.
Successful applicants will be bonded by the Government of Fiji prior to departure and must return to Fiji at the end of their studies.
Application details can be accessed from the following websites: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/
The closing date for submitting applications is Friday 1st November, 2013 at 4pm.
Applications can be sent to the postal address below or hand delivered to PSC Centre for Training and Development, Nasese Suva.
2014 Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship Scheme
Public Service Commission
PO Box 2211
Government Building, Suva.
3 FIJI SPEAKS ON UNITED NATIONS ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT
Speaking in Fiji’s capacity as 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations has called upon the United Nations system to deliver on its mandate of poverty eradication.
Fiji’s Ambassador Peter Thomson told the UN’s Second Committee today, that an explicit mandate has been given to the UN system to “assign the highest priority to poverty eradication.”
Fiji’s Permanent Representative reminded the gathering that through last year’s resolution on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review, the UN General Assembly had “requested the UN development system to focus all its development programmes and projects to address this greatest global challenge as their underlying objective.”
Ambassador Thomson noted that the contribution of the UN development system is crucial to effectively addressing poverty eradication, capacity building for development, development of national capacities for South-South cooperation, transitions from relief to development, as well as gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Fiji’s representative told the Second Committee that the Group of 77’s emphasis on South-South and triangular cooperation came from the fact that they have proven to be effective strategies for sustaining development efforts of developing countries, and hence for eradicating poverty. Ambassador Thomson said they provide effective means of enhancing the participation of developing countries in the global economy, “by benefitting from best practices of strategies and policies implemented in countries which have gone through similar experiences.”
4 UN BODY EXTENDS FIJI DAY WISHES
On behalf of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Director General of FAO, Mr Jose Graziano Da Silva, had conveyed his best wishes to the Government and the people of Fiji on the occasion of the Fiji National Day.
In his letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Mr Jose Graziano Da Silva reaffirmed the relationship between Fiji and FAO. In addition, Mr Da Silva hopes that FAO and Fiji will further work together to enhance the welfare of the People of Fiji.
Fiji has been a member of the FAO since 1971. The Government of Fiji shares a common vision with the FAO in terms of ensuring Food Security for the people of Fiji.
5 PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE GRANTS $54,000 FOR NCTC
A timely assistance of $54,000 has been provided by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Northern Christian Training Centre at Vunika in Labasa to provide a 3-phase power supply to the school.
The assistance was made possible through a submission by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Col. Timoci Natuva to the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Marion Male the founding school principal of NCTC said the school is very grateful to the Prime Minister for granting funds that will boost the power supply to the school.
“We have face a lot of challenges over the years with the lack of power supply to the school, our areas have a lot of misplace farmers where a lot of energy is being used before it reaches the school,” said Mrs. Male.
“The funds provided would establish a electricity booster from the main road that will boost the energy supply sourced from the Fiji Electricity Authority that will allow easy access of electricity flow”
The whole of the Vunika community is expected to benefit soon after the Power Booster is established.
NCTC was established to cater for those underprivileged families in the nearby villages who cannot send their children to school. Programs such as Bee Farming, Building Construction, Crafting, soap making and Screen Printing are carried out at the school.
6 KOREA OFFERS EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES
Eligible civil servants as well as stakeholders for government that work in relevant statutory bodies and non-government organisations are invited to study in Korea next year.
This comes as the Korea Development Institute (KDI) School of Public Policy and Management, is offering scholarships for the Master of Development Policy and Master of Public Policy programmes.
The Commission’s permanent secretary Parmesh Chand said Fiji was grateful for this opportunity that was in line with Fiji’s priority area of training.
Applicants must be under 45 years of age, have a minimum of five (5) years experience in the public sector and are officially recommended by the respective Permanent Secretary. They must also possess undergraduate/postgraduate certificate/diploma degree or its equivalent, not be under any bonding obligation at the time of the commencement of studies, have a good command of English and be physically and mentally fit.
Successful applicants will be entitled to the payment of his/her tuition fees, a monthly allowance and return economy airfare.
The closing date for submitting applications is Monday 21 October, 2013.
7 NABOUWALU – DREKETI ROADS UPGRADE IN PROGRESS
The upgrading of the Nabouwalu – Dreketi roads is progressing since works began earlier this year.
The upgrading of the highway is a major commitment by government under the Look North Policy that will encourage development of Vanua Levu Island. This major project is expected to boost investment and trade opportunities for the northern division and empower ordinary Fijians living here.
Provincial Administrator Bua Inoke Tagicakibau highlighted that project will stimulate various opportunities not just for business houses for ordinary Fijians in the area.
“China Railway First Group Limited started work at three different sites on the 70 kilometre upgrade and it is expected to be one of the best roads around the country,” said Mr. Tagicakibau.
“This will open up opportunities, for example, small or micro-businesses would come up as a result of those improvements in infrastructure.”
China Railway First Group Limited spokesman Donald Singh said the 70-kilometre road has been split into three sections of 23km of roadwork portions where work is continuing simultaneously.
He added the company will build 14 high standards bridges and 209 culverts along the highway and 10.3 metres wide in diameter which will give vehicles passing along the area greater space.
The upgrading works, including a tar sealed road which is expected to be completed by 2015.
8 SERVICE EXCELLENCE TRAINING FOR DRIVERS AND MESSENGERS
In their pursuit for excellence in service delivery, the Ministry of Education held a Service Excellence Training for its clerical messengers and drivers.
Twenty eight Messengers and Drivers went through a full day training at the Fiji Teachers Union Hall this week to look at ways of improving their work.
With the assistance of the Land Transport Authority, the participants were reminded of the basics of driving including ethical behavior not just during working hours but after working hours.
The training also looked at various emergency or crisis situations and held basic cardio – pulmonary resuscitation [CPR] training.
In closing the training, the Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Mr Apisalome Movono reminded participants on the importance of their work.
“Do not see what you do as menial and of no importance. You are part of the team and the efficiency and effectiveness of your role will certainly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire ministry,” he said.
The training of Drivers and Messengers was the first for the Ministry of Education.
9 HEALTH MINISTER CALLS FOR STRICT MONITORING OF STAFF
The health ministry is reminding its staff to be conscious of the needs of patients and stakeholders at health facilities around the country.
This follows a complaint brought to the attention of the Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma who said that providing adequate and sufficient health services and resources should be a priority.
Members of the public claim that health staff watching TV have often led to a delay in services provided.
Minister Sharma has now directed all senior health officials to strengthen their own monitoring processes to ensure that the provision of services to patients is not compromised.
“If you are on lunch break or are taking split lunch, then you may watch these series in a public gallery, however it shouldn’t disturb other staffs who work during that time,” Minister Sharma said.
Dr Sharma stressed that providing efficient services and assistance remains a priority at the Ministry and all staff should commit to this.