Covid-19: 260K Fijians Granted Govt’s Unemployment Assistance

“So far, or by this (Friday) after­noon $54 million will be disbursed to around 150,000 Fijians,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
22 Aug 2021 10:32
Covid-19:  260K Fijians Granted Govt’s Unemployment Assistance
Fijians gathered outside a Digicel outlet in Suva after receiving their first payout of the Government Asssistance. Photo: Leon Lord

Two-hundred and sixty thou­sand Fijians have qualified for the first round of Gov­ernment’s $360 unemployment as­sistance.

The Attorney-General and Minis­ter for Economy Aiyaz-Sayed Khai­yum revealed this in Parliament on Friday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the gov­ernment will pay out $93.6 million.

“So far, or by this (Friday) after­noon $54 million will be disbursed to around 150,000 Fijians,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He urged those who have received this fund to use it responsibly.

Government had received 345,000 applications and only 260,000 appli­cations were approved.

This is based on an early evalua­tion by the Ministry of Economy.

Cheated the system

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum further re­vealed figures of those that had cheated the system.

He said 33,103 of those that had applied did not get the first dose of the COVID vaccine.

“So we’re giving them another week, if they go and get the first dose by next Friday, and provide us proof that they can get the $360”.

He further said that 739 who had applied were below the age of 18.

“Interestingly enough there are 4354 civil servants who applied, even though they’re being paid wages and salary.

“There were some who are cur­rently receiving FNPF on pension who actually applied also so they don’t qualify, 2097 applied but were receiving TELS allowances, some who applied were receiving social welfare allowances and others you know did duplicate applications.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said success­ful applicants can access funds through the convenient means of MyCash through Digicel and MPAiSA, through Vodafone.

He added that this has been a huge concerted effort by the Minis­try of Economy, working together with the Ministry of Communica­tions, Ministry of Health and Med­ical Services, Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS), Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), the Tertiary Scholar­ship & Loans Board (TSLB) board, Vodafone and Digicel.

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

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