In light of COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on women and children as well as the most vulnerable, the Fijian Government through the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation (MWCPA) has formed and led two working groups ,the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Working Group and  the COVID-19  Response Gender Working Group.
The COVID-19  Response Gender Working Group has been formed to undertake a rapid /internal gender analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on all Fijian women and girls 
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa says “To formulate policies and programs that are not gender-blind, it is important to understand the different ways that the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis may affect gender equality outcomes. The impact of the virus is not gender-blind; therefore the response to it should not be either. We are doing this to ensure that recovery is centered on the principle of leaving no one behind,” Minister Vuniwaqa added.
The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Working Group has been formed to advance prevention and response to Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) during emergencies.
Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa highlighted that Fijian women are making significant and critical contributions as key front-line responders as many women doctors, nurses, lab workers, midwives, social workers, hospital cleaners, market vendors, food producers, farmers and primary care givers at home.
“63% of health workers and 85% of market vendors in Fiji are women, placing them at increased risk and exposure to infection. We can stay home safe, knowing that we can count on them.”
Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa adds there has been a global rise in domestic violence and violence against women and children during the COVID-19 outbreak and Fiji is no exception.
“There was a significant increase in calls to the National Domestic Violence helpline number 1560 during the month of April.“
1560 recorded total of 87 calls in February and 187 calls in March. In April we had 527 genuine calls to the national helpline.
66% of the callers were women and 44% were men. 54% of calls were domestic violence related and 30% related to COVID-19,” Hon. Vuniwaqa said,
“Close to 50% of cases reported are linked to COVID-19 such as restrictions of movement and economic strains on families. Close to three-quarters of women reported physical violence.”
The GBV Working Group has developed a range of resources including a Resource Kit to guide frontline responders on responding to gender-based violence and child protection cases during COVID-19. Honorable Mereseini Vuniwaqa says
“it is not only key to initiate the work rapidly, but strategically and in collaboration. The Ministry will continue to work with relevant stakeholders in advocating and coordinating interventions that meet the immediate needs of all women and girls, ensuring that it reaches those left furthest behind while safeguarding and leveraging gains made on gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment” Honorable Mereseini Vuniwaqa adds.

The Government of Fiji extends its appreciation to civil society and womens’ rights organizations, essential service providers, as well as UN Women and Development Partners; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (New Zealand), European Union, Asian Development Bank and others for their important support and effort to tackle the pandemic together.”