CAPTION: Deputy Chief Advisor JICA Keiko Nagai and staff of the Ministry of Health at the launch this morning.
1. FIJI ROAD SPEED LIMITS TO BE REVIEWED – Cabinet has approved the review of speed limits on Fiji’s roads.
2. FIJI ENVOY PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO CROWN PRINCE OF QATAR – His Excellency Mr Robin Nair presented his credentials as Fiji’s first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Qatar to the Crown Prince of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani this week.
3. Cabinet Approves Safety In Sports Participation Policy – Cabinet has approved the Safety in Sports Participation Policy.
- 4. NEW MANUAL TO BOOST CHILD HEALTH CARE IN FIJI – The launch of a new manual designed to boost the level care provided to infants and children in the country has been commended by authorities in the country.
5. strengthening of the Offshore Fisheries Division approved – Cabinet has approved capacity strengthening of the Offshore Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests.
6. LITERACY CAMP GROWS INTEREST IN KOROQAQA – More than one hundred fifty primary school students of Koroqaqa Primary School in Baulevu in Naitasiri participated at their literacy camp program today.
7. FIJI PARTICIPATES AT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE MEET – Fiji is participating this week at the Asian and Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting (RIM) on Rio + 20 Outcomes in Thailand.
8. Cabinet Approves Fiji’s First Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report – Cabinet has approved Fiji’s first ever Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Report.
1 FIJI ROAD SPEED LIMITS TO BE REVIEWED
Cabinet has approved the review of speed limits on Fiji’s roads.
The review will investigate opportunities to simplify speed limits on the road network, provide more consistency in the application of the speed zoning guidelines and assist road users to comply with speed limits.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Captain (N) Timoci Lesi Natuva.
The Minister said that currently, Fiji’s speed limits vary from 20-30kmphr for some schools and industrial areas, 50kmphr within town, city and densely populated areas, while 80kmphr is our national maximum speed limit.
He said that the road upgrading, influx of high powered sophisticated vehicles, as well as the demographic shift in Fiji’s population from rural to urban have all contributed to the need to review the current speed limits.
The Minister said that widespread consultations with members of the public and targeted stakeholders shall be undertaken during the review process.
He further said that the management of the review will be spearheaded by the LTA in consultation with Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), Fiji Police Force and the Solicitor-General’s Office.
The outcomes of the review shall be brought back to Cabinet for its approval.
2 FIJI ENVOY PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO CROWN PRINCE OF QATAR
His Excellency Mr Robin Nair presented his credentials as Fiji’s first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Qatar to the Crown Prince of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani this week.
In his statement, Ambassador Nair conveyed the greetings of President of the Republic of Fiji His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to the President and Government of the State of Qatar. He said that Fiji’s presence in the region, and in particular Qatar, was important to strengthening diplomatic relations and advancing its bilateral relations with the State.
Ambassador Nair acknowledged the strength of the Qatari economy and noted the success of its airline industry and the prospect of employment opportunities for Fijian nationals in the progressive economy of the Gulf State.
In welcoming Ambassador Nair, Sheikh Tamim recalled the recent visit of Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Dr Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Attiyah to Fiji to explore the furthering of bilateral relations and opportunities between the two countries.
He highlighted that Qatar was ready to assist Fiji in any possible sectors and sought the Embassy’s efforts to work with the Qatari Foreign Ministry to identify possible needs. He said that he looked forward to the expected visit of the Fijian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation soon and this should include discussions on areas of assistance needed by Fiji and to further explore areas of collaboration and cooperation, including in areas of mutual interest in the building global peace and stability.
The ceremony this morning was preceded by the playing of the national anthems of both countries by the Qatari Military Band, and an inspection of Military Guard of Honour by Ambassador Nair. He was accompanied by First Secretary Emosi Rakai to Qatar.
3 Cabinet Approves Safety In Sports Participation Policy
Cabinet has approved the Safety in Sports Participation Policy.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Viliame Naupoto.
The Minister said that the risks of Sports injury are high at all levels particularly for contact sports.
“This halts potential athletes’ development, causing untimely retirement and serious loss to personal income.”
He said that there are numerous controllable factors that need to be managed strategically to ensure results are attained through sports, and with Sports as a thriving industry and a source of employment for Fijians locally and internationally there is a need for a policy to safeguard our citizens against sporting injuries.
The Minister said that the Safety in Sports Policy recognizes the need to institute safety measures through manageable and attainable approaches to ensure minimal occurrence of sports injuries.
The Minister further said that creating a culture of safety in sports warrants that appropriate attention be made towards risk management strategies, OHS compliant facilities, prohibition of drugs in sports, proper teaching and coaching competencies, application of first aid, usage of proper protective equipment, observance of age limits in age group competition and exclusion of any form of abuse.
4 NEW MANUAL TO BOOST CHILD HEALTH CARE IN FIJI
The launch of a new manual designed to boost the level care provided to infants and children in the country has been commended by authorities in the country.
The Ministry of Health in partnership with the AusAID today launched the 2013 Immunization Week and the Child health strategy Policy 2012-2015.
This document will outline the policy statements of the Ministry of Health in support of infant and child health and key activities of programs and services provided for children.
Fiji’s Ministry of Health deputy secretary for Public Health Una Bera pointed out that child health has been a priority for many years within the ministry especially the Paediatric and health divisions.
“In 2008 World Health Organisation estimated that 1.5million of deaths are among children under the age of 5years were due to diseases that could have been prevented by routine vaccination,” Mrs Bera said.
She added that Fiji launched the 2011 health systems review that showed that the mortality rate for children under 5years old was noted to be 22.4 percent 100 live births.
Diseases such as pneumococcus, rotavirus and Haemophilus remain a major concern among the children of our Fiji.
Mrs Bera adds what is more significant is the fact that diseases can be prevented through routine immunizations and the recent introduction of pneumococcal and HPV vaccines this year.
The vaccines will prevent diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis for children and cervical cancer among young women.
AusAID counsellor for Fiji and Tuvalu Joanne Chloe commended the health ministry for their efforts in designing such policies to ensure there are quality services provided for the betterment of children’s health.
Parents and expecting mothers present at the event were challenged to prioritise their children’s health and to seek medical assistance if their child is sick.
5 strengthening of the Offshore Fisheries Division approved
Cabinet has approved capacity strengthening of the Offshore Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests.
This will allow for the effective implementation of the Offshore Fisheries Management Decree (OFMD) 2012, especially provisions encompassing international and regional obligations for combating Illegal, Unreported And Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Fisheries and Forests, Colonel Inia Seruiratu.
The Minister said that IUU is a global phenomenon valued at USD30b annually.
He said that the European Union (EU), which is by far the world’s biggest importer of fish, seafood and aquaculture products, requires all third countries exporting their fish and fishery products to adhere to strict compliance with their EU IUU Regulations as well international and regional arrangements on sustainable fishery.
The Minister said that the EU market is an important market for Fiji especially for those in the domestic industry that have invested in their vessels and processing factories to comply with the stringent EU SPS measures.
The Minister further said that Fiji’s Offshore Fishing Industry is one of the most stable and fastest growing industries and our markets include Japan, the United States of America, Thailand, American Samoa, China, Chinese Taipei, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.
“Total export from Fiji’s tuna industry in 2011 was 41,200 metric tonnes, 75% of which originated from outside of its waters but landed and passed through local processing factories.”
He said that Fiji’s resolve to align to the EU IUU Regulation will be further strengthened with the development of an Offshore Fisheries Management Regulation in consultation with the Solicitor- General’s Office.
6 LITERACY CAMP GROWS INTEREST IN KOROQAQA
More than one hundred fifty primary school students of Koroqaqa Primary School in Baulevu in Naitasiri participated at their literacy camp program today.
Organised by the Department of Library Services, the literacy camp is targeted towards improving reading skills for beginners and at times those considered to have low literacy skills.
Koroqaqa Primary School head teacher Mr Log Nandan said that students and parents have been excited about this camp before it began.
“This is the first time ever such program was organised at our school. We are very fortunate and the parents too are very happy. I am confident that this program will help our community and students from nearby schools,” Mr Nadan said.
“When I was posted for the first time to this school, I was told by the school manager that one of the problems faced is that some students were not able to read”.
The literacy camp included various programs including the screening of various historical films on Fiji by the Department of Information.
The literacy camp is organised annually in various divisions around the country by the Department of Library Services which is a standalone department within the Ministry of Information.
7 FIJI PARTICIPATES AT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE MEET
Fiji is participating this week at the Asian and Pacific Regional Implementation Meeting (RIM) on Rio + 20 Outcomes in Thailand.
Fiji’s delegation to the meet includes the Permanent Secretary for Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics, Mr Pita Wise, by Fiji’s Permanent Representative and High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ratu Meli Bainimarama and Acting Chief Economic Planning Officer, Strategic Planning Office, Mr Paula Cirikiyasawa.
The (RIM) on Rio + 20 Outcomes will discuss regional perspectives on global processes resulting from Rio+20 such as the establishment of a High Level Political Forum to replace the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, and the development of Sustainable Development Goals. The RIM will also identify regional follow-up actions to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
The Rio + 20 outcome document “The Future We Want” recognizes the importance of the regional contribution to the global sustainable development agenda and emphasizes that regional commissions have a significant role to play in promoting a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in their respective regions.
The outcome of the meeting will be brought to the attention of the 69th ESCAP Commission Session, open working group on sustainable development goals, and other processes as appropriate.
The meeting brings together representatives of governments from ESCAP members and associate members, major groups (civil society, trade union and business community), and international and regional organizations.
8 Cabinet Approves Fiji’s First Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report
Cabinet has approved Fiji’s first ever Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Report.
The PDNA was undertaken for TC Evan, a Category 4 cyclone which had ravaged Fiji in November 2012.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Colonel Inia Seruiratu.
The PDNA is a World Bank initiative used the world over for post disaster assessments.
The PDNA is a synthesis of Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) and human recovery needs assessment.
It has gained universal acceptance as the template for assessing net disaster impact.
PDNA typically includes a recovery and reconstruction framework that guides the post-disaster recovery strategy.
The PDNA contains: damage, loss, and macro-economic impacts on the affected economy; impacts on livelihoods, incomes, and human development; short, medium, and long-term recovery and reconstruction needs; and measures for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction plans.
The Minister said that according to the PDNA findings, the total economic value of the disaster effects caused by TC Evan is estimated at F$194.9 million (USD108.4 million) equivalent to about 2.6 percent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) demonstrating the scale of the cyclone.
He said that the total damage from TC Evan, that is the value of destruction or damage to physical assets in the affected areas, is estimated to be F$ 121.5 million. An additional F$ 73.4 million was identified as losses to the economic flows that are expected to occur in the short to medium term.
The Minister said that according to the PDNA findings, approximately 60 percent of the total population were affected in the post disaster period.
“The Northern division recorded the highest percentage of people affected in proportion to their total population, where about 52 percent of the population was affected, followed by the Western Division at 38 percent and 23 percent for the Central and Eastern divisions respectively.”
He said that the PDNA also considered the impact on infrastructure as well as the productive sector.
In addition, he said that the PDNA findings showed that Fiji has a number of good practices for Disaster Risk Management (DRM).
“The PDNA findings indicated that Fiji has an effective and timely deployment of DRM system, there are public-private partnerships for DRM, and the Government offers a range of incentives and concessions to facilitate funding for repair and recovery.”
The Minister said that the PDNA also considered the impact of gender.
“The inclusion of in any disaster-related policy, strategy and/or programme is critical to ensuring different needs and interests of the most affected are adequately addressed.
“Accordingly, post-disaster damage and loss assessments should be gender responsive and equitable. Central to such assessments is the disaggregation of data by age and sex, including wherever possible other diversities like disabilities and ethnicity, in order to clearly see trends or impacts across geographic regions, which in turn informs equitable recovery and reconstruction programmes.”
He said that no fundamental gender issues became apparent during the assessment.
The Minister said that the PDNA was undertaken to take account of the intangible aspect of disaster assessment, which has never been done in the past.
He said that the PDNA exercise has been very useful strategically for capacity-building given the level of exposure and the requirements needed from such a comprehensive exercise.
“The wealth of baseline, disaggregated data on the respective sectors gathered from the exercise will complement Government’s routine policy analysis work for informed, evidence-based decision-making.”
He said that a separate submission on the PDNA Resourcing Needs will be tabled in Cabinet at a later stage.