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‘Fijians need to talk more of disability policies’

‘Fijians need to talk more of disability policies’
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa and the Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment Lorna Eden looking at the materials on display to mark International Women’s Day outside Parliament on March 8, 2018. Photo: Parliament of Fiji
March 09
10:00 2018

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, said the topic of disabled persons in Fiji and initiatives put in place by Government to assist them in their livelihood were hardly discussed in Fiji.

Ms Vuniwaqa said the Government had a national disability policy that was currently under review to ensure that there was an ongoing policy umbrella to look after the work that is being carried out by Government and non-government organisations.

Ms Vuniwaqa said for the first time in the Census carried out last year, there were questions related to disabilities.

“Up until then we have no data nationally to inform us on the number of persons living with disability in this country,” she said.

“Government initiatives currently in place included the disability allowances of $2.79m for the first time this year, an allowance which could be received monthly.”

She said there was a budget for the Fiji National for Disabled Persons of $1.2m and a budget for Hilton Early Intervention Centre.

In the last Census she said over a 113,595 Fijians have been noted as living with a disability.

Opposition MP Jiosefa Dulakiverata asked for facilities or disability friendly infrastructure to be provide for the House for those living with disability to access Parliament.

MP Mikaele Leawere raised a question to Ms Vuniwaqa on what was provided for in schools.

Ms Vuniwaqa said there were currently 43 main stream schools that were now inclusive.

From the 43 schools, she said 24 were receiving special education grants to ensure that students with education needs were assisted.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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