The Fijian Government has made the legislative commitment under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2018 in which the welfare and interests of persons with disabilities are recognized and considered at National level.
The government’s commitment to persons living with disabilities is highlighted under Fiji’s 2013 Constitution which provides for a wide range of socio-economic rights.
These rights include rights to education, access to health care, housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, food security, safe water, and social security schemes.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Ms. Jennifer Poole signed a Grant Agreement between the National Council of Person with Disabilities (NCPD) and the British High Commission at the Fiji National Council of Person with Disabilities Complex in Brown Street, Suva last week.
PS Poole highlighted that the Fijian Government had ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which led to government departments revising their policies to ensure inclusiveness and cohesiveness in the efforts to provide capacity building on service delivery components as well as create awareness in this area of work.
On behalf of the Fijian Government, PS Poole acknowledged the support shown by the British Government for committing additional resources to bring more reach for Persons with Disabilities in geographically marginalized communities.
It is also a reflection of the progress for a fruitful cooperation that the Government has built with the British Government. Ms. Poole added that the REACH programme provides a supporting mechanism for persons with disabilities to access critical knowledge and awareness and immediate on site access to services related to social, economic and legal issues.
The Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji for the British High Commission, Mr. Paul Welsh highlighted that a lack of access is one of the main underlying factors of poverty, particular in rural areas both in developed and developing countries.
Therefore governments together with development partners need to work hand in hand to design and implement projects that bridge this divide to ensure that access to opportunities are evenly spread among citizens.
In working collaboratively with the ministry, the UK Government through its International Programme is happy to announce funding assistance up to FJD$30,000 to the National Council of Persons with Disabilities.
The UK’s International Programme provides funding for posts and directorates to run programmes and projects that help deliver policy-based outcomes and of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.