Tuvalu is a tiny state in Polynesia. You can compile a huge collection of interesting facts about him. Here are just a few of them.
Tuvalu consists of three reef islands and six coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, the total land area is only 26 square kilometers, and the islands themselves are located at a great distance from each other - from 67 to 172 kilometers.
The population of this small state is just over 10, 000 people, with 94 percent being indigenous to Tuvalu. Several hundred people are descendants of mixed marriages of Tuvalu with representatives of other nationalities, but there are less than 200 foreigners here.
If someday global warming occurs on our planet, Tuvalu will become its first victim. This is not surprising - the highest point is only 5 meters above sea level. That is why representatives of Tuvalu are indispensable participants in all international climate forums.
Do you know what is the main value on these islands? Fresh water. There are no freshwater rivers, so residents have to collect rainwater and store it in cisterns. There used to be wells in Tuvalu, but they all turned out to be polluted by sewage. The problem of waste disposal is also urgent, there is nowhere to take it out, which means that more and more waste accumulates.
There are no armed forces in Tuvalu, which saves an already not rich state from the costs of maintaining them. But there is the police. By the way, the criminal situation in the country is quite tense: more than 2, 000 crimes are registered a year. With a per capita GDP of about $ 1, 600 per year, Tuvalu is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Since 1976, the monetary unit here is the Tuvalu dollar, the exchange rate of which is equal to the Australian dollar. Interestingly, the local dollar exists only in the form of coins, and the Australian dollar is still used as banknotes.
It is not surprising that the coins of this tiny country are prized among collectors.
It is believed that the country could receive a good income from tourism, but so far there are few people who want to visit this distant state - about a thousand a year. The reason is the lack of hotels of the appropriate level and the high cost of air tickets.
By the way, Tuvalu has one international airport. It is located in Funafuti Atoll - this is the only place in the country where it was possible to equip an airstrip.
But the issue of postage stamps is well established here. In the best years, income from the sale of philatelic material accounted for up to 20 percent of the state budget.
Athletes in Tuvalu are far from world leaders. Despite the fact that several athletes took part in the Summer Olympics, the results were, to put it mildly, not the best. There is even a national football team here, but it is not included in FIFA, limited to rare matches with teams from Oceania.
In 1972, Cyclone Bebe caused terrible damage to Tuvalu: almost all houses and trees were demolished. We can say that the country had to be rebuilt.
A coconut tree grows in front of the Tuvalu government building, next to which there is a modest monument with a sign announcing that the palm tree was planted in 2010 by the President of Taiwan during his visit to the island. As you can see, foreign rulers do not often visit Tuvalu.