The Fiji Government, through the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations (MEPIR) and the International Labour Organization Office for Pacific Island Countries launched the mini pilot project on Community Based Emergency Employment (CBEE) for three villages in the district of Nailega, Tailevu in response to the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Office, Meleti Bainimarama while speaking at the event expressed his sincere gratitude to the ILO, the Employment Ministry and other Inter-Agencies for their assistance and support towards rebuilding the lives of Fijians that were affected by TC Winston.
Mr Bainimarama pointed out to the unemployed Fijians to fully use this opportunity, as the next technical assistance would be determined upon the good use of tools and seedlings provided to them.
The CBEE was launched through the handing over of tools and seedlings by Mr Bainimarama to the 120 clients including women and people living with disabilities in the three villages.
Permanent Secretary for Employment, Salaseini Daunabuna said that the three villages that benefited from this mini pilot project are Naibita, Manu and Nabulini.“These unemployed villagers will engage in this project for the duration of two weeks and will receive weekly allowances as well, financially supported by the ILO,” said Mrs Daunabuna. She said through this CBEE, the employment ministry would support potential access for overseas seasonal work.
Jone Numa of Naibita village expressed his deepest appreciation towards Government and the ILO for this project that would greatly assist in bringing life back to normalcy. An emotional 39-year-old, Julie Tamanivalu of Manu village also conveyed her gratitude and how blessed they were with the assistance “This is also the first visit from Government here in Manu village for TC Winston assistance,” Ms Tamanivalu said.
To kick start with the pilot project, the National Employment Centre (NEC) provided human resources through its registered unemployed clients living within the identified villages, whilst ILO provided tools, seedlings and allowances for technical assistance.
Ms Daunabuna said in strengthening the implementation of the CBEE, the employment ministry provided Occupational Health and Saftey (OHS) and Child Labour awareness sessions to the 120 unemployed clients on the safe, proper use and storage of equipment.
ILO Office for Pacific Island countries, officer–in-charge , Satoshi Sasaki also reminded the unemployed clients to spend their allowances in a proper manner and ensure that family members directly benefit from it.The Ministry of Employment and the ILO have been working in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, National Disaster Management Office and the Strategic Planning Office for this worthy cause.
The main objective of the CBEE is to support food security and loss of income for the identified villages through a social protection lens.