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How nations are coping with rising seas

By: Laura Moss on July 11, 2011, 10:19 a.m.
Nurse sets up for a village health clinic. She is part of an ausAID-funded medical team that travels from Kokoda Hospital to visit outlying villages.

Photo: Roger Wheatley/Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Wikimedia Commons [CC by 2.0]

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Education programs

The 33 islands that make up Kiribati sit barely above sea level these days, and more than half of the country’s 100,000 people are crowded onto the capital island of South Tarawa. Land is scarce and drinking water is in short supply, so to combat both overpopulation and rising seas, Kiribati has begun sending young citizens to Australia to study nursing. The Kiribati Australia Nursing Initiative is sponsored by the foreign aid organization AusAID and is aimed at educating Kiribati’s youth and getting them jobs. Most students who receive AusAID scholarships are trained and then sent home to help their developing countries; however, the KANI program is a little different because the graduates will work in Australia and someday bring their families to join them. KANI seeks to educate and relocate the people of Kiribati because their entire country may soon be underwater.