To help ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared by all Fijians, Australia supports improved access to quality health and education services, particularly for disadvantaged segments of the population, including the rural poor, women and people living with disabilities.
Australia works with the Government of Fiji to increase the capacity and efficiency of the current health system. We support Fiji respond to non-communicable diseases with a focus on cost-effective primary care and prevention. We also help address Fiji's skills gap by supporting quality education, providing tertiary scholarships and supporting vocational skills development.
Australia works with the Government of Fiji and the private sector to strengthen the key systems, policies and capacities that underpin quality services and ensure value for money.
Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP)
Up to $50 million, 2011-2017
AQEP is designed to help improve access to quality basic education for the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Fiji. The AQEP focuses on 85 primary schools in the poorest or most disadvantaged parts of Fiji, as mapped by the World Bank, and has three main objectives:
- to increase access to quality education for the most disadvantaged students;
- to improve facilities to ensure safer and better learning environments; and
- to directly strengthen the capacity of Fiji's Ministry of Education through training, developing information management systems, assessment and other priorities including disaster rehabilitation.
The AQEP also works with five demonstration schools to promote a disability inclusive approach by ensuring that children with disabilities have improved access to mainstream schools. All of these schools have received infrastructure upgrades to make them disability accessible, in line with Australian Government standards.
Fiji Health Sector Support Program (FHSSP)
Up to $33.5 million, 2011-2017
The FHSSP aims to support improvements in maternal and child health, the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and hypertension, primary health care and health systems strengthening.
Activities undertaken by the FHSSP support the achievement of five main objectives:
- The FHSSP contributes to improving the health and safety of mothers by supporting the introduction of standards for clinical treatment of mothers, providing training for nurses and upgrading hospital facilities and equipment.
- The FHSSP contributes to improved child health by jointly funding three new childhood vaccines, including one to address high rates of cervical cancer in girls. FHSSP also supports adequate staffing in hospitals to implement the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. This aims to reduce illness, and promote growth and development among children.
- The FHSSP contributes to diabetes prevention and management by funding training and equipment to improve screening and early detection. Increases in early diagnosis contribute to improved disease management, and will reduce disability and premature death in the longer term.
- The FHSSP is revitalising the community health worker network by providing training for community health workers and supporting the Ministry of Health to progress key policies on community health workers. These efforts aim to reduce pressure on the broader health system and strengthen an existing system that works closely with communities to be a first port of call on health issues.
- The FHSSP also supports health system strengthening by providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health. The FHSSP has focused its support on workforce planning, monitoring and evaluation, health information systems and strategic planning.
Fiji Community Development Program
Up to $21.4 million, 2011-2017
This program aims to alleviate social and economic hardship among Fiji's poorest by supporting civil society organisations. Capacity building under the program is helping make civil society organisations more efficient and effective in assisting the poor to improve their lives and improving the resilience of communities to respond to natural disasters and economic shocks.
Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development – Fiji
Up to $26 million, 2013-23
Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) was launched by the Australian Government at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in August 2012. Pacific Women is a ten-year, $320 million program, funded by the Australian Government, which aims to improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women. Pacific Women supports countries meet their gender equality commitments.
Through Pacific Women, the Australian Government will spend approximately $26 million over 10 years on initiatives supporting women's empowerment in Fiji.
The first Fiji country plan is being implemented over the period 2013-14 to 2016-17 at an estimated cost of $16 million. The country plan has four primary objectives and directly responds to Pacific Women's intended outcome areas:
- Leadership – women, and women's interests, are increasingly and effectively represented and visible through leadership and decision-making;
- Women's economic empowerment – women have expanded economic opportunities to earn income and accumulate economic assets;
- Violence against women – violence against women is reduced and survivors of violence have access to support services and to justice; and
- Enabling change – women in the Pacific will have a stronger sense of their own agency, supported by a changing legal and social environment and through access to the services they need.
Further planning will be undertaken to program the total $26 million over the 10 year commitment.
For more information, see the Pacific Women website.
Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP)
Fiji is an active participant in the SWP. In June 2015, the Australian Government announced an expansion of the SWP by removing the annual limit on the number of seasonal workers who can participate in the program. The program was also expanded to include the accommodation as well as the agriculture sector, providing more opportunities for Fijians to participate.
More information can be found on the Seasonal Worker Programme Website.