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© UNICEF Maldives/2015

Maldives country profile

Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean with a population of 399,939. Children (0-17 years of age) represent almost 40 per cent of the population according to the Census 2006. Maldives graduated to middle income country status in 2011, having shown remarkable economic growth of almost 6 per cent between 2000 and 2009, largely due to the rapid expansion of tourism. By 2008, Maldives had achieved five out of the eight Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule (Eradicating Extreme Hunger – MDG 1; Achieving Universal Primary Education – MDG 2; Reducing Child Mortality – MDG 4; Improving Maternal Health – MDG 5; and Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases – MDG 6), making it the only “MDG plus” country in South Asia. Some of the other notable achievements include:

• Highest HDI in South Asia
• Gross National Income - 85 % from 2000-2012
• Commitment to major social sector budgetary allocations
• Increase in life expectancy - (24.2 years from 1980 to 2011)
• Universal Health Coverage
• No Child Left Behind in education

Disparities include:
• Though MDG + (5 of 8) – 2008, still has pockets of inequity (Male’ and Regions, between Regions, and between Islands)
• Weak Capacity in certain areas
• Geographical dispersion :
– Geographical dispersion and isolation with small and remote populations, and
– Vulnerabilities: Susceptible to climate change and natural disaster making
• Relatively high levels of malnutrition under 5 (Stunting (2009) – 18.9%; Wasting – 10.6%)
• Violence against children
• Disparities in access to higher secondary education
• Children with disabilities having limited access to social services
• Drug abuse
• Juvenile crime



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