Monday, April 19, 2010

Over 80% in Rural Fijian Communities in Debt

Fiji Village News - 19 April 2010

Jeff Liew - UNDP Advisor

More than 80 percent of people living in rural Fijian communities are in debt as a recent study has found that borrowing in Fijian communities is pervasive and financial literacy is very low.

That is the revelation from the financial capacity Advisor for UNDP, Jeff Liew at the launch of the Financial Capability, financial Competency and well being in rural Fijian households survey carried out by the UNDP.

Liew said the survey which was carried out in a total of 14 villages in Naitasiri highlighted that in Fijian communities the ability to manage debt was very low, with 50% of the villagers not even understanding the meaning of loans.

Liew said this lack of financial literacy would see people falling victim to "get rich quick" schemes and other fraudulent activities.

Meanwhile, ANZ Chief Executive for Fiji Norman Wilson said that as part of their community program they are undertaking the Rural Banking Initiative which has seen over 70 thousand people take advantage since it started in 2004.

The research which was undertaken in 2007 and was this afternoon released jointly by ANZ and UNDP.

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