$106 million has been approved by the World Bank in support for unemployment assistance and the creation of an estimated 10,000 jobs through the new Jobs for Nature 2.0 (JFN2) cash-for-work program in Fiji.
The additional financing for the World Bank’s Fiji Social Protection COVID-19 Response and System Development Project will support the creation of jobs (between three to twelve months in duration) for 10,000 Fijians through the JFN2 initiative, as well as covering two rounds of government cash assistance delivered in 2021 to more than 340,000 Fijians who had lost their jobs – whether formal or informal employment – as a result of the pandemic.
The package will also support the strengthening of Fiji’s social protection system.
World Bank Resident Representative for the South Pacific Lasse Melgaard says the past two years have been extremely tough for Fijian families.
He says with this additional funding, they are further boosting their support to Fiji’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the systems and processes needed to assist those Fijians who need help when they need it the most, especially women and youth, while simultaneously bolstering Fiji’s disaster and climate resilience.
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji’s ongoing recovery must not only reclaim the jobs and economic activity stolen by the pandemic, it must reset course for inclusive, sustainable and resilient development.
He says robust engagement with partners like the World Bank is foundational to the future they are looking to build.
Sayed-Khaiyum says this funding support will go directly to continuing their excellent, multi-sector work that began last year to strengthen the resilience of the most climate vulnerable communities and households.
The JFN2 cash-for-work program is a community-focused program to create jobs for Fijians in rural areas across the country and will be delivered with the support of Fijian village cooperatives and civil society groups, including women’s and youth groups.
The program will prioritize activities including wetlands protection (mangrove planting, seagrass planting, restoring waterways); riverbank rehabilitation and coastal bank protection (mangrove planting, vetiver grass planting); biodiversity improvement (forest restoration, land upgrade through native tree planting, coral reef protection); and waste and wastewater management.
The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Waterways and Environment, the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, the Ministry of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Fiji National Provident Fund; National Employment Centre within the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations; and Fiji’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport.
This additional financing is an International Development Association (IDA) credit with highly concessional terms. The International Development Association is the World Bank’s fund for the world’s most in-need countries.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations