AusAID-Fiji Partnership

Students at Lami Convent, a Marist Catholic school in Suva, engage in student-centred learning inspired by the newly trained primary teachers under the Australian-supported Basic Education Management and Teacher Upgrading Project in Fiji. Photo by: Peter Davis / AusAID Photolibrary / CC BY-NC-SA

Labeled a lower middle-income country by the World Bank, one-third of Fiji’s population lives in poverty. The situation is aggravated in the rural areas, which account for nearly one-half (49 percent) of the country’s population.

Fiji’s efforts to meet its Millennium Development Goals have been disrupted by successive military coups. The most recent, in 2006, resulted in the abolition of the rule of law and Fiji’s suspension from the Commonwealth and Pacific Islands Forum. Since then, Fiji has experienced a major decline in levels of foreign direct investment. The interim government’s announcement to postpone elections until 2014 has further undermined business confidence; gross domestic product has dropped by 10 percent to the lowest level since independence in 1970.

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