Tuvalu. In early March, a new international airport terminal opened and a few days later it was announced that Air Kiribati airline would start a flight between Kiribati’s capital Tarawa, located on the atoll of the same name, and Tuvalu’s largest atoll, Funafuti, where the capital Fongafale is located. According to Countryaah.com, Vaiaku is the capital city of Tuvalu, a country located in Polynesia. Flights between countries will depart once a week.
In October, a new system was put into operation to warn of extremely large ocean waves. The system began to develop after the tropical cyclone Pam, which in 2015 caused flood waves that projected into the low-lying atolls and forced about 300 people to evacuate their homes. In November, Apisai Ielemia, who was Prime Minister 2006-10, passed away.
- According to Abbreviationfinder: TUV is an three letter acronym for Tuvalu.
Tuvalu is an island state located in the Pacific Ocean. The country, made up of four coral islands and five atolls, is among the smallest states in the world, and with its approximately 10,000 residents it is also the second least inhabited country on the planet, after the Vatican. The name of the country, Tuvalu, would mean ‘eight together’, referring to the eight atolls that originally constituted its territory. The population belongs to the Polynesian ethnic group and professes the Protestant faith, according to the precepts of the Church of Tuvalu. However, there are also communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baha’is and Ahmadiya Muslims. Having gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1978, the country entered the British Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Tuvalu by Governor General Iakoba Taeia Italeli. The institutional architecture provides for a general assembly, made up of 15 members elected by universal suffrage every four years. There are no parties and elections are based on the candidates’ family and social reputation and their residence, as Tuvalu is characterized by a traditional rivalry between northern and southern islanders. The needle of the electoral balance is often in the hands of the citizens of the capital Funafuti, inhabited by about half of the population. At the head of the government, since August 2013, sits Enele Sopoaga, who has taken the place of Willie Telavi, whose government had been disheartened in the previous months. The country’s foreign policy takes place within international organizations such as the United Nations, of which it has been a member since 2000, the Pacific Islands Forum (Pif) and the Asian Development Bank (Adb). Furthermore, following the request made in 2009, Tuvalu became the 187th and smallest member country of the International Monetary Fund in June 2010. Due to its geographical connotation, Tuvalu is particularly sensitive to the problem of climate change. The islands of Tuvalu reach a maximum height of 4.5 meters above sea level and global warming, with the consequent rise of the sea, could threaten the very existence of the country. With this in mind, Tuvalu participates in the Alliance of Small Island States, an intergovernmental organization founded in 1990 with the aim of creating a united and compact front against global warming. Furthermore, in September 2013, Tuvalu signed, together with the other countries of the Pacific Islands Forum, the ‘Majuro declaration’ for the leadership climate change, which calls for strong guidance against climate change. The country’s economy is mainly based on fishing. In particular, 15% of the adult population, equal to about one thousand citizens, works abroad as a sailor and produces remittances ranging between 1.5 and 3 million dollars a year. Public employment then absorbs about 70% of the workforce. Agriculture is essentially subsistence and tourism, potentially the strongest sector, is actually underdeveloped, also because the lack of infrastructure does not allow for large influxes in the holiday seasons. There has recently been a strong development in the financial sector, favored by the fact that the country enjoys privileged tax legislation. In 2012, international attention has focused on Tuvalu because the small state has registered Iranian freighters attempting to circumvent international sanctions under its flag. In July 2013 Tuvalu signed a Memorandum of understanding in anticipation of the establishment of the Pacific regional trade and development facility, a regional development initiative that should lead to the signing of an economic partnership agreement (Epa) between countries of the Pacific area and the European Union.