The independent nation of Tuvalu is made up of nine main atolls Nanumea, Nanumaga, Niuto, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, Nukulaelae, and Niulakita. Scattered across the South Pacific Ocean, these Islands make up a total landmass of about 25 square kilometres. Tuvalu has a population of close to 11,000 with 60% of the population residing on the capital Island, Funafuti.
Tuvalu was first settled by Polynesians over 2000 years ago with the Island of Nui later being settled by Micronesians. Christianity is the major religion which was brought over by missionaries. Tuvalu was formerly known as the Ellice Islands under the British Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands until it became independent on October 1st 1978.
The economy is small with a GDP of about US$33 million with the main revenues coming from fishing licenses to overseas vessels which ship in Tuvalu waters, the leasing out of the “.tv” internet domain name and overseas financial assistance. Private income is generated mainly from remittances from Seafarers and workers in overseas seasonal workers schemes such as the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employment Scheme (RSE). The Global Financial crisis of 2008 hit the Seafaring industry hard with many Tuvaluan Seafarers returning home unemployed with many who are looking for jobs internally through construction and other infrastructure projects, while others are currently working in overseas schemes such as the RSE.
RSE TUVALU | © All rights reserved