The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar has lauded the new budget as a compassionate and rewarding budget, which considers the needs of the most vulnerable in our population, while providing opportunities for the economic empowerment of families and individuals, through social protection and within the grant system.

"This budget has been designed to encourage empowerment and inclusion.  The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has been allocated a total budget of $147.7 million for the upcoming fiscal year. We would like to thank the Minister for Economy and his team, for supporting the Ministry’s submission as a service oriented Ministry, allocating resources for assisting the most vulnerable as well and maintaining support for gender equality, empowerment and preventing violence against women and girls".

"Under social protection, we have received allocations for the Poverty Benefit Scheme ($34,000,000), Child Protection allowance ($13,741,621), Social Pension Scheme ($55,000,000), Food Voucher for Pregnant Mothers (800,000), Allowance for Persons with Disabilities ($10,788,541) and the Bus Fare Program for Older Persons and the Disabled ($10,000,000). Our Older Persons were not forgotten, as we have been allocated $120,000 to establish the National Council for Older Persons as a statutory body, which will provide a catalyst for promoting the issues and concerns of our senior citizens", Minister Akbar said.\

Minister Akbar stated that the Ministry will continue to reform and digitalise the Department of Social Welfare and the new Department of Children. "We are excited to announce the new budget line to establish the Department of Children, reinforcing our commitment to strengthen child protection systems nationally and to streamline and improve the delivery of child services.  The specialisation of child protection roles will be the foundation for the professionalisation of this sector. We want to ensure that the children of Fiji have the best child protection system we can provide and this is a very important step forward in that direction".
Minister Akbar added that the Ministry is also grateful to the Government for responding to the circumstances that the poorest of the poor are experiencing, providing the $180 assistance scheme for 6 months, which will benefit all recipients, including children. "Again this evidences the government’s commitment to early childhood development in commitments to health, nutrition and child protection".
"We are pleased to note that disabilities and gender budgets have been mainstreamed across Government and within financial institutions like the Fiji Development Bank.  Fiji has taken the lead in gender transformative Institutional Capacity Development across government, a program which is ongoing this year and we can see the results in gender responsive budget allocations and the commitment of development partners. Fiji took the lead in terms of government responses to gender based violence during the pandemic and the Ministry continues to be resourced to prevent violence against women and girls. We have received resources for grants to women’s institutions ($400,000), NGO grants, and support for the DV helpline ($200,000), DV shelter and DV fund. Women’s Economic Empowerment ($100,000) was not overlooked, with resources allocated across government and funds of $300,000 allocated to re-invigorate women in the informal sector. Fijians from the business sector to the grassroots have been considered in this thoughtful budget", she explained.