Ministry Reaches 31,000 Fijians


The Ministry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Alleviation-led Rights Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) for Rural and Urban Fijians Pro­ject has assisted 31,000 Fijians through mo­bile awareness training.

Responding to a question in Parliament last week, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said the project, since its inception in 2015, through the collective donor funded activities had enabled Fijians in the urban, peri-urban, rural and maritime islands areas to access social, health, legal and economic services provided by the project.

The project has been rendered through the support of the government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, (DFAT).

“The REACH is basically about the utilisa­tion of three mobile service delivery buses which were funded by the Government of Japan and this has been critical in enhanc­ing service delivery in our three divisions; Central, Western and Northern.”

“Having seen the value of REACH and the work that it does, it actually adds to the vi­sion of the Fijian Government to leave no one behind and the Government approved the integration of the project into a pro­gramme in 2019 under the Ministry,” Min­ister Akbar said.

“So far the Ministry-led REACH Pro­gramme has covered a total of 220 districts, including Rotuma and reaching out to 1136 communities inclusive of villages, settle­ments and schools. 31,000 individuals, in­cluding men, women and children have ben­efitted from the mobile awareness training and 61,744 services were delivered by state and non-state actors,” Minister Akbar high­lighted in Parliament.

Gender wise, more women have tapped into the services that were provided during the outreach programmes.

Minister Akbar assured that the REACH project will support and work in collabora­tion with the Births, Deaths and Marriage Office and Fijian Elections Office to reach women who will be affected by the recently passed Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill 2021.

“As mentioned by the Attorney-General that close to 100,000 women will be affect­ed by the new registration Bill, we can as­sure the House and all the women out there that REACH will support the Fijian Elec­tions Office and BDM Office and bring the services to their doorsteps,” she said.

Additional funding from the Government of Japan and the UNDP will allow for the project to continue reaching out to Fijians – especially those currently living with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and re­cent tropical cyclones.