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Government to decide on use of direct budget support

May 5, 2021 12:58 pm

Fiji has received $59.08m from Australia as direct budget support which the government can use as it sees fit.

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says this is the first time for Fiji to receive budget support from any country in this case, Australia.

He adds the donor country feels confident in Fiji’s financial management of those funds, but there had to be a thorough assessment of national systems.

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“So they believe that we are managing well. As we have highlighted we have been doing a lot of work with the World Bank and ADB in terms of improving the laws pertaining to financial management. In terms of procurement, in terms of accountability. We now have a medium-term debt strategy. So they look at all those factors and then if they feel confident then they give you direct budget support.”

Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted that $31.5m was donated specifically for designated social welfare support payment including the poverty benefit scheme, care and protection allowance and disability allowance.

The minister adds those questioning the use of these funds aren’t being factual.

“I know there has been a lot of talk on social media about people saying oh they received $90m and that means they have an extra $90m what are they going to do with it. I saw somebody posting up, saying, they are spending only $2m on these food packages that means they have a profit of $88m. Obviously, these people are backyard economists and financial analysts if they can be called financial analysts.”

Sayed-Khaiyum also says budget funding means the government can run its programs with less borrowing from financial partners.

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