What YFC is Doing

Youth for Christ started in Fiji in 1997 with three people. It is a daughter ministry of the Youth for Christ ministry in New Zealand. Over the past seven years, Sereki Korocowiri, Fiji’s National Director, along with his staff have established programs for primary and secondary schools, communities and villages and also programs for school holidays. The newest additions to Fiji’s programs are the LIST Program and Sports Ministry which target developing leaders and athletes.

There are six Youth for Christ staff: ‘Uncle Eki’ (Sereki), Rosi, Samu, Tomu, Bento and Kelly. Youth for Christ staff could not do what they do without the help of the growing number of faithful volunteers. Volunteers help us run holiday camps and the different programs.

Prayer Needs

  • Staff guidance and decision making
  • Adequate resources for ministry
  • Develop a very strong volunteer base
  • Develop a very strong presence in all schools, serving the needs of young people there

About Fiji

Fiji

Introduction

Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Re-elected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president but in January 2007 became interim prime minister. Since taking power BAINIMARAMA has neutralized his opponents, crippled Fiji's democratic institutions, and refused to hold elections.

Geography

Location

Location: Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic Coordinates: 18 00 S, 175 00 E

Area

Total Area: 18,274 sq km Rank: 156
Land Area: 18,274 sq km
Water Area: 0 sq km
Comparison: slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,129 km

Climate

tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation

Terrain

mostly mountains of volcanic origin

Elevations

Lowest Point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest Point: Tomanivi 1,324 m

Natural Resources

timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower

Land Use

Arable land: 10.95%
Permanent Crops: 4.65%
Other: 84.4% (2005)
Irrigated Land: 30 sq km (2003)
Renewable Water Resources: 28.6 cu km (1987)
Total Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): 0.07 cu km/yr (14%/14%/71%)
Freshwater Withdrawal Per Capita: 82 cu m/yr (2000)

Environment

Natural Hazards: cyclonic storms can occur from November to January
Environmental Issues: deforestation; soil erosion
Environmental Agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

Geography Notes

includes 332 islands; approximately 110 are inhabited

People

Population: 944,720 (July 2010 est.) Rank: 158

Age Structure

0-14 years: 30.3% (male 146,327/female 140,327)
15-64 years: 64.9% (male 307,077/female 305,886)
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 20,300/female 24,803) (2010 est.)
Median Age: 26.4 years

Population Growth

Growth Rate: 1.379% (2010 est.) Rank: 97
Birth Rate: 21.92 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) Rank: 88
Death Rate: 5.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) Rank: 173
Net Migration Rate: -2.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) Rank: 137

Urbanization

Urban Population: 52% of total population (2008)
Rate of Urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Life and Death

Infant Mortality Rate: 11.58 deaths/1,000 live births Rank: 146
Life Expectancy at Birth: 70.73 years Rank: 139
Fertility Rate: 2.63 children born/woman (2010 est.) Rank: 87

Health and Disease

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate: 0.1% (2007 est.) Rank: 137
People living with HIV/AIDS: 600 (2003 est.) Rank: 147
HIV/AIDS Deaths: fewer than 200 (2003 est.) Rank: 114

Nationality and Culture

Noun: Fijian(s)
Adjective: Fijian
Ethnic Groups: Fijian 57.3% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.6%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 3.9% (European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese) (2007 census)
Religion: Christian 64.5% (Methodist 34.6%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, Anglican 0.8%, other 10.4%), Hindu 27.9%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other or unspecified 0.3%, none 0.7% (2007 census)
Languages: English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani

Education

Literacy (Meaning, age 15 and over can read and write): 93.7% Male: 95.5% Female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): 13 years Male: 13 years Female: 13 years (2005)
Education expenditures: 6.5% of GDP (2004) Rank: 30

Government

Country Name

Conventional Long Form: Republic of the Fiji Islands
Conventional Short Form: Fiji
Local Long Form: Republic of the Fiji Islands/Matanitu ko Viti
Local Short Form: Fiji/Viti
Government Type: republic
Capital: Suva (on Viti Levu) Geographic Coordinates: 18 08 S, 178 25 E

Administrative divisions

4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western
Independence: 10 October 1970 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Constitution: enacted on 25 July 1997; effective on 28 July 1998; note - it encourages multiculturalism and makes multiparty government mandatory
Legal system: based on British system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive Branch

Chief of State: President Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU (since 30 July 2009)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000); note - although QARASE is still the legal prime minister, he has been confined to his home island; former President ILOILOVATU appointed Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA interim prime minister under the military regime
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and responsible to Parliament; note - coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA has appointed an interim cabinet
Elections: under the constitution, president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); in 2007 the Great Council of Chiefs was suspended from its role in electing the president; prime minister appointed by the president
Election Results: Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU was appointed by Chief Justice Anthony GATES

Legislative Branch

bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (32 seats; 14 members appointed by the president on the advice of the Great Council of Chiefs, 9 appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister, 8 on the advice of the opposition leader, and 1 appointed on the advice of the council of Rotuma) and the House of Representatives (71 seats; 23 members reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, 3 reserved for other ethnic groups, 1 reserved for the council of Rotuma constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, and 25 open seats; members serve five-year terms)
Elections: House of Representatives - last held on 6-13 May 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
Election Results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - SDL 44.6%, FLP 39.2%, UPP 0.8%, independents 4.9%, other 10.5%; seats by party - SDL 36, FLP 31, UPP 2, independents 2

Judicial branch

Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Court of Appeal; High Court; Magistrates' Courts

Politics

Political Parties and Leaders: Dodonu Ni Taukei Party or DNT [Fereti S. DEWA]; Fiji Democratic Party or FDP [Filipe BOLE] (a merger of the Christian Democrat Alliance or VLV [Poesci Waqalevu BUNE], Fijian Association Party or FAP, Fijian Political Party or SVT [Sitiveni RABUKA] (primarily Fijian), and New Labor Unity Party or NLUP [Ofa SWANN]); Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY]; General Voters Party or GVP (became part of United General Party); Girmit Heritage Party or GHP; Justice and Freedom Party or AIM; Lio 'On Famor Rotuma Party or LFR; National Federation Party or NFP [Pramond RAE] (primarily Indian); Nationalist Vanua Takolavo Party or NVTLP [Saula TELAWA]; Party of National Unity or PANU [Ponipate LESAVUA]; Party of the Truth or POTT; United Fiji Party/Sogosogo Duavata ni Lewenivanua or SDL [Laisenia QARASE]; United Peoples Party or UPP [Millis Mick BEDDOES]
Political Pressure Groups and Leaders: Group Against Racial Discrimination or GARD [Dr. Anirudk SINGH] (for restoration of a democratic government); Viti Landowners Association
International Organization Participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, C (suspended), CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag Description: light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the blue symbolizes the Pacific ocean and the Union Jack reflects the links with Great Britain; the shield - taken from Fiji's coat of arms - depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George; the four quarters depict stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove

Economy

Economy Overview: Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports, remittances from Fijians working abroad, and a growing tourist industry - with 400,000 to 500,000 tourists annually - are the major sources of foreign exchange. Fiji's sugar has special access to European Union markets but will be harmed by the EU's decision to cut sugar subsidies. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity but is not efficient. Fiji's tourism industry was damaged by the December 2006 coup and is facing an uncertain recovery time. In 2007 tourist arrivals were down almost 6%, with substantial job losses in the service sector, and GDP dipped. The coup has created a difficult business climate. The EU has suspended all aid until the interim government takes steps toward new elections. Long-term problems include low investment, uncertain land ownership rights, and the government's inability to manage its budget. Overseas remittances from Fijians working in Kuwait and Iraq have decreased significantly. Fiji's current account deficit reached 23% of GDP in 2006.

Gross Domestic Product

GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.675 billion (2009 est.) Rank: 168
GDP - real growth rate: -2.5% (2009 est.) Rank: 156
GDP - per capita (PPP): $3,900 (2009 est.) Rank: 157
GDP - Composition by Sector: Agriculture: 8.9% Industry: 13.5% Services: 77.6% (2004 est.)

Labor Force

Labor Force: 335,000 (2007 est.) Rank: 161
Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: 70% Industry and Services: 30% (2001 est.)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (1999) Rank: 73

Poverty

Population below poverty line: 25.5% (FY90/91)

Transnational Issues

International Disputes: none

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