Tonga joined the UN in 1999, and signed up for the MDGs in 2000 together with another 188 nations. Tonga comprises 172 islands with a land area of 747 square kilometres, and a total land/ocean surface area of around 720,000 square kilometres. The country has a population of 103,252 according to the 2011 census, with 73 percent living in the largest island, Tongatapu. 34 percent of this lives in the capital, Nuku’alofa, as well as the peri-urban areas. The other four major island groups that are inhabited are: Vava’u at 15 percent; Ha’apai at 7 percent’ ‘Eua at 5 percent; and Niuas at 1 percent.
Since the inception of the MDGs, the kingdom of Tonga has completed three assessment reports, with the final one being released in September 2015. The following is a look at the targets and achievements of Tonga in regard to the millennium development goals:
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
This is the biggest challenge for many Pacific island countries, where progress is constrained by low economic growth and a lack of job opportunities. The global financial crisis further retarded progress, while income inequalities persist across all countries – especially urban and rural areas. (more…)