FIJI ARMY CANCELS YOUTH PROJECT INVOLVING 200

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (July 20, 1999 - PACNEWS)---An ambitious program conducted by the Fiji Military Forces to train street children and provide them with meaningful employment, has been disbanded.

The decision has affected 200 unemployed youths who were housed and trained in engineering skills at the army’s auxiliary unit in the capital, Suva.

The youths were ordered out of their accommodations last week after an official tour of the premises by a Government team, including the Assistant Home Affairs Minister Gaffar Ahmed, found the area to be a health hazard.

Ahmed promised he would look into the plight of the 200 youths, some of whom have gone back to their homes.

The project was initiated by former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka after to coups of in 1987 to assist young people roaming the streets and involved in criminal activities.

The Army said the project was terminated because of financial constraints.

A spokesman said Government never funded the project and the Army had to use its own funds to provide for the needs of the young men.

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