Hunger in New Caledonia

The islands of New Caledonia lie 900 miles to the east of Australia in the southwest Pacific ocean and are a French territory. The Loyalty Islands, Belep Islands, Iles des Pins, and the mainland (also called New Caledonia) form the majority of New Caledonia, with some other small islands also belonging to this French territory. Gorgeous lagoons and white sand beaches make New Caledonia a popular travel destination and a beautiful home for its citizens.

The people of New Caledonia have a high quality of life, and hunger in New Caledonia poses little to no problem. Of its 270,032 citizens, all have access to improved sanitation, 98.5 percent have access to improved drinking water sources, 96.9 percent of the population is literate, and life expectancy at birth is 77.7 years. Additionally, New Caledonia ranks 61st in the world for per capita GDP, showing the relative strength of its economy.

Most of New Caledonia’s statistics show its success in providing a strong quality of life for its people; however, its poverty rate is 17 percent, which is high for a developed state. Comparatively, the United States’ poverty rate is about 15 percent and France’s is 14 percent. Although New Caledonia has moderate poverty, hunger in New Caledonia is a non-issue. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations continually reports that the number of undernourished people living in New Caledonia is not significant.

Hunger in New Caledonia is not a significant issue, as basic needs are met for New Caledonians. Poverty, however, is still rather high, indicating the needs of New Caledonians as being at a higher level than basic physiological needs. These needs include ensuring greater levels of education equally to both European and non-European New Caledonians, and an expanded job market to help lower the high unemployment rate (14.7 percent in 2014).

Mary Kate Luft

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