A gathering of stakeholders took place in Suva this week to discuss the draft of the Fiji National Policy for Persons with Disabilities 2024-2033.
Convened by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities with the support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pacific Community (SPC), the meeting heard from stakeholders on areas that needed to be strengthened to reflect international best practices and respond to evolving needs.
The most recent policy covered the period 2018-2020.
Jone Nasilasila, the Disability Inclusion Officer with Disaster Ready Fiji said they were happy to contribute to a document that will protect, enhance and empower people living with disability.
“We want to make it relevant to the current context here in Fiji with the many issues we face.”
“We are grateful for the support so far and going forward we hope to continue the work we have between Government, faith based organisations and our social and community groups. This is important because these different forums will bring forth the issues faced by people living with disability.”
The meeting was opened by USAID Missions Director Zema Semunegus who emphasized the importance of the care and rights of people living with disabilities one of which being the need for an updated and comprehensive national policy for persons living with disabilities in Fiji.
“Your voices and our collective efforts will help shape your national policy landscape for the next decade to one that could ensure that persons with disability are recognised and valued as equal participants in society,” she said.
Country-wide consultations continue this week.