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At a glance: Mauritius

The big picture

Click for a detailed map (PDF)

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Mauritians will mark the end of UNICEF's programme work in the country by the end of 2003. UNICEF cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and partners began in 1976 in this Indian Ocean island nation, part of Eastern and Southern Africa. Since then it has achieved rapid economic growth and made marked improvements in the wellbeing of its children and young people:

  • The infant mortality rate decreased to 13.9 per 1,000 in 2001.
  • There is universal access to public health care.
  • Malaria and polio have been eliminated.
  • There is universal access to safe water.
  • Children have universal access to primary education and all Mauritian children go to school until age 12.

In 1997, the UNICEF Executive Board decided to gradually phase out funding allocations to countries that had achieved the combined threshold of a Gross National Product of $2,895 per capita and under-five mortality of less than 30 deaths per 1,000 live births. Mauritius reached this threshold during the 1990s.

"Despite regrets about UNICEF's departure, the transition is seen as an opportunity for the country to renew its commitment to children," says Assistant Representative for UNICEF Mauritius, Stanislaw Czaplicki. "The response of 22 per cent of the population over the age of six who pledged to 'Say Yes for Children' is a testimony of the concern Mauritians have for their children."

The end of UNICEF's programme of cooperation, however, doesn't mean there are no challenges still facing children. Pockets of poverty remain, and child abuse and violence against women, sexual exploitation, increasing drug and alcohol dependency among young people and the exclusion of children with disabilities all are cause of concern.

Services to support children in need of protection are not yet sufficient: there are scarcities of trained social workers, counsellors, rehabilitation specialists and child psychologists and there is a need for better co-ordination between non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector.

The current country programme is focussed on the nation's transition over the final three-year period (2001-2003). The priorities for UNICEF have been early childhood care and development, adolescent development and participation, building national capacity and preparing a future scenario for children.

"Good work for children has to continue after UNICEF modifies its presence in Mauritius," emphasizes Czaplicki.

The Government is currently considering forming a new, autonomous body for children that would be in charge of coordinating with the public sector, private sector and civil society to monitor children's rights. The Government is also preparing a comprehensive, national policy based on a shared vision for children.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*

Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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