The Fiji Bureau of Statistics officially launched the results of Fiji’s first ever Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021 to support the Government in providing reliable data to measure progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. Fiji is the fifth country in the Pacific region to conduct a MICS survey. The data generated through the Fiji MICS will be used by the government to strengthen its response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Government of Fiji recognizes the findings in the MICS 2021 survey in assisting informed decision-making by all key stakeholders, as well as development partners,” said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Mr. Shiri Krishna Gounder. “The information will inform policies aimed at social inclusion of the most vulnerable population, help identify disparities, and allow for international comparability.”
Suva, 4 August 2022. High-level launch event.
The data on child mortality, health, nutrition, education, child protection, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene, shed light on how children and their families are faring in today’s Fiji. The findings reveal that the country has the highest coverage in antenatal care in the region, with 98 per cent of women having at least one health visit during their last pregnancy. Furthermore, 89 per cent of students aged 5-24 years attending school in Fiji received school related support such as transport assistance, free textbooks or free tuition during the 2021 academic year. This is the highest coverage rate in the Pacific compared to the four MICS reports published so far in the region. Some data, such as data on drinking water quality, foundational learning skills and child functioning, are novel and have not been collected in the past. As such, the survey findings are designed to monitor national progress and help safeguard the interests and wellbeing of Fijians.
“I would like to congratulate the Fijian Government on achieving a major milestone with this MICS,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathan Veitch. “While progress continues to be made in important areas of child development, the data reveals a mixed picture throughout the country with rural/urban, gender and age disparities. It is therefore important to focus interventions and resources on addressing these gaps, so that all Fijian children can maximize their chances to survive, thrive and realize their full potential.”
The Fiji MICS 2021, led by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, has been funded by the Government of New Zealand, with additional financial and technical support provided by UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund. Further technical support was also provided by The Pacific Community.
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