More people are now receiving assistance through the government’s Social Welfare programs as Fiji struggles to overcome the effects of COVID-19 and the recent tropical cyclones.
As at 31st January 2021, 43,909 people are being assisted through the Social Pension Scheme, 22,450 families are being assisted through the Poverty Benefit Scheme, 7,815 people are being assisted under the Care and Protection Scheme while 8,716 people are receiving Disability Allowance.
Permanent Secretary for Poverty Alleviation Jennifer Poole says they continue to see an increase in the number of applications for assistance but this is the norm and cannot conclude that it is because of COVID-19.
Poole says this is because they already had an established criteria that was used to assess applications.
She has also confirmed that 5,900 accounts were suspended after their re-certification program last year.
The objective of the exercise was to ensure that recipients update their information and confirm their existence by filling of their form.
Poole says this was after numerous reminders for recipients to fill their re-certification forms and those that did not fill their forms had their allowances suspended.
She adds their staff had also visited those families where the person receiving the assistance was disabled or bed ridden to assist with their application.
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