USAID Administrator Samantha Power has announced Fiji’s inclusion in USAID’s Democracy Delivers Initiative, highlighting its commitment to democratic principles.

“Last year, when I visited Fiji to open the USAID Pacific Islands Mission in Suva, I saw firsthand Fiji’s continued commitment to democratic principles.

“This has led to meaningful benefits in the lives of Fijians, from improvements in health services to greater opportunities for students,” said Power in a statement.

Power emphasised Fiji’s significant democratic progress, notably its recent peaceful transition of power.

“In an era where democratic backsliding is occurring globally, Fiji has achieved significant democratic progress.

“USAID will work with Fiji’s government to help cement these gains and demonstrate how democracy can meet citizens’ pressing needs,” she said

The announcement emphasises the U.S commitment to supporting Fiji’s democratic journey.

“We recognise the importance of this moment. We are here to listen, to partner, and to help Fiji deliver on their vision for an increasingly inclusive, peaceful, and participatory democracy,” Power said.

Power said USAID will deploy new resources to support Fiji in several areas include Municipal elections, Agriculture and Waste Management.

“We will support efforts to hold municipal elections that increase women’s political participation as voters and candidates,” Power announced. She added that the initiative will also expand electoral access for people with disabilities.

“We will help Fijian farmers improve the cultivation of root crops, fruits, and rice to ensure Pacific Islanders have access to locally-grown, nutritious food.”

“We will assist in building more waste collection points in communities and promote recycling to stem the flow of ocean plastics, protecting ocean ecosystems essential to Fijian communities and our planet’s future,” said Power.

The initiative aims to leverage these efforts to create lasting democratic and societal benefits for Fiji.