The decisions made by Cabinet today include the following:

1. Exchange of Notes on Japan’s Grant Aid to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Under the Economic and Social Development Program

Cabinet approved the execution of an Exchange of Notes between the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (Ministry) and the Government of Japan for a grant of FJD 2.4 million (Grant) to the Ministry to purchase two medical containers.

The two medical containers will be used as container clinics to support an integrated model of primary health care, testing and training.

The Ministry’s priority will be to utilise the container clinics in communities to provide integrated services for family health, maternal child health wellness, diabetes, non-communicable diseases and sexually transmitted diseases.

The medical containers will serve as a potential model or pilot to form aspects of future health care provisions.

2. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the YWAM Ships Aotearoa Limited

Cabinet approved the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (Ministry) and YWAM Ships Aotearoa Limited (YSA) for the provision of medical supplies to remote nursing stations, medical services, dental services, primary healthcare services, and training to Community Health Workers via the YWAM Ship.

YWAM is a global movement of Christians from various countries, varying age groups, and cultures, dedicated to living their faith practically throughout the world.

The YWAM Ship provides free medical supplies to remote nursing stations, and provides free medical services mostly dental services, primary health care services such as health screening and health advice to the and also provides training to Community Health Workers.

In August 2022, the first YWAM Ship mission in Fiji was commissioned through the Ministry for the provision of free medical services to local communities in the Central Division and maritime provinces including the Lau Group and outer islands of the Northern Division. During this time they managed to screen 578 primary health appointments, conduct 635 dental treatments, perform 315 teeth restoration procedures, 998 tooth extractions. They also conducted educational sessions on oral health to 1164 villages within the 29 villages visited, and managed to train 10 community health workers.

The MOU will facilitate logistic arrangements, health service preparation and coordination for future YWAM missions in Fiji.

3. Extension to the Agreement of Cooperation with the United Nations Human Settlements Program

Cabinet has approved a further extension to the Agreement of Cooperation (AOC) between the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-Habitat) until 31 May 2024.

The AOC is to implement a project called ‘Increasing the resilience of informal urban settlements in Fiji that are highly vulnerable to climate change and disaster risks’.

The project addresses the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme events such as flooding, droughts, cyclones and long-term sea-level rise that negatively impacts informal settlements.

The sixteen (16) communities to be assisted under the Project are:
LAMI – Bilo, Kalekana, Qauia, Vuniivi, Wailekutu and Wainivokai
SIGATOKA – Kulukulu, Vunikavika
LAUTOKA – California, Naqiroso, Nasoata, Taiperia, Veidogo, Vunato
NADI – Korociri, Nawajikuma

The Ministry has completed community profiling for these sixteen informal urban settlements.

UN-Habitat will provide US$2.79million under the no cost extension of the AOC for the implementation of various capital projects in the 16 communities.

These projects include:

-construction of retaining structures near mangroves,
-construction of coastal protection structures,
-construction of storm water drainage network,
-construction of improved footpaths,
-construction of covered meeting areas,
-construction of pedestrian bridges,
-provision of garbage containers,
-measures to improve solid waste management,
-construction of sanitation, and
-installation of rainwater harvesting tanks.

4. Housing Assistance to Fire Victims Policy

Cabinet approved changes to the Policy for Housing Assistance to Fire Victims Grant. This Grant is intended to assist low and middle-income earners to rebuild homes destroyed by accidental fires. Households with a total annual income below $50,000.00 can receive grant assistance up to $5,000.

The Grant does not apply to house fires where the owner is found to have deliberately set fire to his/her own property or to households occupying rented premises.

Cabinet approved changes to the eligibility criteria for assistance under this Policy.

Under the revised eligibility criteria, the assistance is now extended to two new categories:
(i) house fire victims who reside on land subject to agriculture lease; and
(ii) house fire victims who reside on Mataqali land [members of landowning units registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB)] residing on Mataqali land outside the registered village boundaries.

The revised eligibility criteria for grant assistance are now as follows:
(i) Fijian citizen and above the age of 18;
(ii) Total annual household income of $50,000 or below;
(iii) Agriculture lease title holder must provide evidence on the ownership of the damaged property and that the applicant occupied the property;
(iv) member of the Land Owning Unit whose residential house constructed within village boundaries or on mataqali land outside village boundaries must provide evidence on the ownership of the damaged property and evidence that the applicant occupied the property;
(v) The house was not insured;
(vi) Owners of other damaged property within municipal boundaries must provide evidence of a certificate of title for the property from the Registrar of Titles – The Ministry will verify this through a search of the Titles Office;
(vii) Cause of fire is determined to be accidental – confirmed through a report from the National Fire Authority; and
(viii) Applicants for this assistance for damaged homes in the rural and maritime areas must provide confirmation from the:
(a) Provincial Administrator and the office of the Roko Tui confirming house ownership and that the home was constructed on land belonging a Mataqali or Land Owning Unit on which the damaged property is located and that the applicant occupied the property;
(b) Provincial Administrator and the Office of the Roko Tui to confirm the cause of fire in consultation with National Fire Authority for incidents reported in rural and maritime areas.

Applications already received from households under the revised eligibility criteria by the Ministry of Housing during the 2022-2023 financial year will be assisted.

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