Quick Facts

  • Formerly known as the Gilbert Islands
  • Granted self rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence on July 12, 1979 under the new name of the Republic of Kiribati
  • Location: Oceania, a group of 33 (23 are inhabited) coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the equator, as well as the International Date Line; the capital of Tarawa is about 1/2 way between Hawaii and Australia
  • Area: 811 sq. km (four times the size of Washington, D.C.)
  • Population: 105,711
  • Capital: Tarawa (pop. 46,000)
  • Climate: tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds
  • Terrain: mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs
  • Nationality: I-Kiribati
  • Ethnic groups: Micronesian 98.8%, other
  • Language:  I-Kiribati, English (official)
  • Religion: primarily Christianity
  • Economy: One of the least developed Pacific Islands and one of the poorest countries in the world. Copra (dried coconut kernels from which oil is made) and fish represent the bulk of production and exports. Economic development is constrained by lack of skilled workers, weak infrastructure and remoteness from international markets. Very dependent on foreign financial aid, remittances from merchant ships and seamen and money from an Australian trust fund.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • A republic
  • Chief of state and head of government is President Anote Tong (since 2003) – The House of Parliament nominates the candidates from their members. The candidates compete in a general election where the president is elected by popular vote.

Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 90/100,000
  • Life expectancy: 65.81 years
  • Health expenditures: 10.1% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 0.38 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 1.3 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 40.1%
  • Infant mortality rate: 34.26 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field


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Area Agencies

Field Stories

It was by random chance I got to work with the GFR team in Jordan 2014. Turned out the organization they were working with in Jordan needed an extra translator, and I just so happened to be in Amman at the time. Facebook Google+ Linkedin Twitter WhatsApp

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