1. PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL INITIATIVE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN RURAL COMMUNITIES – Pregnant women living in rural or maritime communities across the country will no longer pay for travelling costs when visiting medical facilities to deliver babies.
2. ENHANCING FIJI – LUXEMBOURG COOPERATION TOPS TALKS – The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with the Honorary Consul for Fiji to Luxembourg in Brussels, Carl Philipp Thomas to discuss strategies to enhance cooperation with Luxembourg.
3. RECIPIENTS ADVISED ON FOOD VOUCHER COLLECTION – The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation is advising all its social welfare recipients that the food voucher collection will begin from next week Monday 5th April 2014.
4. FIJI’S YOUTH INVITED TO SHOWCASE EVENT – The Ministry of Youth and Sports this week will be at the Government Information Referral Centre (GIRC) to display its services and meet members of the public.
1 PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL INITIATIVE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN IN RURAL COMMUNITIES
Pregnant women living in rural or maritime communities across the country will no longer pay for travelling costs when visiting medical facilities to deliver babies.
This new development follows the recent tour to the Lau Group by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and is a direct response raised by women there on the high costs involved in traveling to clinics to give birth.
In most parts of Fiji’s rural and maritime communities, pregnant women often travel long distances to health centres to give birth. For most pregnant women living in maritime communities, travelling to a clinic located on another island is often met with high costs by transport providers. In the absence of any midwifery or nursing assistance, many young women often incur financial difficulties and risk serious pregnancy complications.
However the concerns raised by the women in Lau has prompted the Head Of Government to organise a new initiative where transportations costs will now be reimbursed at health clinics or centres across the country. This new initiative applies to those women who have to travel long distance to a separate health facility to give birth.
This development, the Prime Minister said, will alleviate the financial burdens that young women in rural communities have had to endure.
“If the women in these communities don’t have the means to travel to health centres to deliver their babies, it’s the responsibility of Government to make sure that this is addressed”, the PM said.
This new development also compliments current assistance programs funded by the State for young pregnant mothers. This includes the Expanded Food Voucher Programme which is designed to benefit more than 4,000 young women across rural parts of the country.
With an allocation of $1.4million, the program is a coordinated response by several key agencies including the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health to providing adequate and safe assistance to young pregnant women in rural or maritime communities.
This program translates to the provision of vouchers for young women before and after deliveries. A total of 7 vouchers are provided with each valued at $30.00 each.
Health authorities are working closely with relevant agencies to register those women in rural and maritime communities who require medical assistance.
2 ENHANCING FIJI – LUXEMBOURG COOPERATION TOPS TALKS
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with the Honorary Consul for Fiji to Luxembourg in Brussels, Carl Philipp Thomas to discuss strategies to enhance cooperation with Luxembourg.
Talks were held on possible financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for Sugar, Energy, Agriculture, Microfinance, Disaster risk insurance and inter-island marine transport sectors. Possible collaboration in the banking and insurance sectors was discussed at length given Luxembourg’s strategic advantage in that arena. Luxembourg is the world’s second largest investment fund center (after the United States), the most important private banking center in the Eurozone and Europe’s leading center for reinsurance companies.
The Honorary Consul also offered to assist in the promotion of Tourism in Europe at the Tourism Fair to be held in Luxembourg in January 2015. Other methods to improve investment flows into Fiji such as a Double Taxation Agreement, a possible dedicated investment fund for Fiji in Luxembourg and other investment protection initiatives are also being considered by the Minister.
Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world with an advanced economy and the world’s second largest GDP per Capita. Its central location has made it a strategically important country and several institutions and agencies of the European Union are based in Luxembourg.
3 RECIPIENTS ADVISED ON FOOD VOUCHER COLLECTION
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation is advising all its social welfare recipients that the food voucher collection will begin from next week Monday 5th April 2014.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta is reminding all the social welfare recipients to also collect their food vouchers for the next 3 months from their nearest welfare office.
“The Food Vouchers for the months of April to June is currently been distributed to all the district and divisional social welfare offices. Recipients are advised to collect their food vouchers only from the 5th of April 2014.
“The recipients are reminded to bring their Social Welfare Identification Cards (ID) to collect the Food Vouchers. These cards will be sighted for recertification purposes and to ensure that clients are still eligible for assistance,” Dr Koroivueta reiterated.
All the recipients in Korovou area are advised to visit the Korovou social welfare office located at Waimaro House (Korovou) regarding their food vouchers.
4 FIJI’S YOUTH INVITED TO SHOWCASE EVENT
The Ministry of Youth and Sports this week will be at the Government Information Referral Centre (GIRC) to display its services and meet members of the public.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Josefa Sania said; “The ministry of youth will be on exhibition from today Monday 31st March to Saturday April 5th the GIRC in Suva.”
“Members of the public especially the young people searching for second or better opportunities are most welcome to come and seek assistance from our personnel at the GIRC throughout this week.
“There will be some produce like vegetables, live meat birds and pork on sale from Thursday and these are products from our training centre in Nasau, Sigatoka,” said Mr Sania.
Mr Sania also added that staff and representatives from the Fiji Sports Council and the Fiji National Sports Commission will also be part of the week-long exhibition and also officers from the Consumer Council of Fiji.
There will also be some form of entertainment provided by students attending the Youth Training Centre in Valelevu or the National Youth Band.
The exhibition will from 8am to 4.30pm on Monday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm on Friday and 8am to 12pm on Saturday.