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Engaging with Diaspora for Fiji’s Development Project

There are many Fijian diaspora groups living around the world, with notable populations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.  These diaspora groups have developed lively communities and established various channels of communication among them. They also send home remittances to relatives and friends in Fiji, with the total averaging around 4.8 per cent of Fiji’s national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2012 and 2015 . 

The Engaging with Diaspora for Fiji’s Development project aims to support the Government of Fiji to engage more closely and strategically with Fijian diaspora groups in Australia as part of its efforts to contribute to national development and further to Fiji’s commitment  to  achieving  the  Sustainable  Development  Goals  (SDGs),  particularly  SDG  10  on  reduced inequalities, contributions also link to SDG 11 and SDG 17. The project will also contribute to Strategic Priority 1 of the IOM Pacific Strategy 2017-2020 .

Working in partnership with the Government of Fiji and Fiji High Commission in Australia, the project will deliver three key outputs to achieve the project outcome. Firstly, A diaspora mapping survey will be undertaken in Australia which will look at the size, composition, attitudes, educational attainments, professional interest and needs of diaspora communities. Secondly, the project will develop and provide recommendations on strategic engagement and   partnerships   with   Fijian   diaspora   communities. This will improve links with the Fijian diaspora groups, improving their ability to develop networks, build trust, transfer skills and identify investment opportunities in Fiji. The third output is for the Government of Fiji to convene a diaspora engagement meeting in Suva, with stakeholders from the Australia, New Zealand High Commission in Fiji, and Canada High Commission based in Australia, strengthening the partnership between the Government of Fiji and the diaspora groups.

Fiji became an IOM member state in 2013, and IOM and the Government of Fiji signed a Cooperation Agreement in 2015. IOM established an office in Suva, Fiji in 2017 to work with the Government of Fiji and governments of nearby Pacific Island countries on issues relating to migration, including on the thematic areas of migration and climate change, labour migration and human mobility, migration and development, counter-trafficking and migrant protection, and emergency preparedness and response.

The Republic of Fiji Islands is a large Melanesian archipelago made up of an estimated 332 islands with diverse landscapes and climate in the southwest Pacific Ocean. A large proportion of Fiji’s approximately 912,000 people live on the largest island of Viti Levu, where the capital Suva is located. The main spoken languages are Fijian, Fiji Hindi and English.

Fiji has one of the largest economies among Pacific Island Countries and is one of the least dependent on foreign aid. Fiji achieved half of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is committed to the 2030 global sustainable development agenda. As a regional hub in the Pacific, Fiji is considered an origin, transit and destination country in the context of international migration.

Total Land Area:18,272,000km2
Languages:Fijian, Fiji Hindi, English
Currency: Fiji Dollar
Population (2018):912,000
Population under 15 years of age (2015):256,000
Life Expectancy at Birth, Total (2016)70.269
Human Development Index rank (2018)92
International Migrant Stock as a Percentage of the Population (2018):1.5%
Women as a Percentage of International Migrant Stock (2015):46%
GNI per Capita, Atlas method (current US$) (2017):$4,970
Remittances inflows as a percentage of GDP (2018) 5.5%

Mailing Address
GPO Box 14765 Suva Fiji

Contact person: Mrs Mahym Orazmuhamedova
Chief of Mission, IOM Fiji

Email: iomfiji@iom.int
Telephone: +679 3310730