The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has organised its fourth public consultations in Korovou, Tailevu, this Friday.
The consultations begin from 9am at CMF Hall in Korovou town and will be chaired by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Sofia Akbar.
The public consultation is an initiative mooted by Minister Akbar and it aims to provide information to general public about social welfare programs and accelerate any applications that may have been pending.
Through the consultations conducted in Labasa, Navua and Naitasiri, we have seen that there were some applications which had been pending for a year. Upon these recent findings gauged from the consultations, we have now allocated a time framework of six weeks within which the applications should be processed and the applicants must be informed of the results, said Mrs Akbar.
Through the public consultations, Mrs Akbar said the ministry hopes to help existing recipients and identify the new recipients.
At the consultations people request for information about eligibility criteria and ways they can apply for social welfare programmes like Social Pension Scheme, Poverty Benefit Scheme, Care and Protection and Welfare Graduation Programme. I am glad to say that through public consultations some of the cases, which were pending, have been fast tracked and processed, she said.
I am hoping to reach out to as many people as possible through the public consultations. With the terminated cases, we are reassessing them and working on the new applications as well. After the consultations, we will prepare a report and see if there is a genuine need to review some of the Ministrys policies to suit the needs of our recipients, then we will look into those reviews, Mrs Akbar explained.
Currently, there are a total of 809 social welfare recipients assisted in Korovou. The Ministry is reaching out to 17,000 people through its Poverty Benefiting Scheme, with a total of 2211 recipients for the Care and Protection Programme. There are total of 11,194 recipients for Social Pension Scheme and with more than 40,000 beneficiaries for the Governments Bus Fare Concession. Likewise, 1003 pregnant mothers in rural areas are also benefiting from the governments Expanded Food Voucher Programme.