Wallis and Futuna

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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)


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Pacific islands heavily dependent on French aid

In addition to the islands of Wallis and Futuna the country includes the island of Alofi. These are formerly volcanic islands in the South Pacific. The people are mostly Polynesian, with a few French. The Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence.

Most Wallisians make their living from subsistence agriculture, growing taro, yams, bananas, and other crops. The main cash crop is coconuts, grown for copra. They also fish for tuna. A few other people work for the government. The country relies for survival on French aid.

With limited work prospects, many people have emigrated. Some 20,000 are in New Caledonia—more than live at home—and their remittances are a major source of income.

The islanders send a deputy and a senator to the French National Assembly, but they also have their own territorial assembly. In addition to the equivalents of the parties in metropolitan France, there is also a local party, the Union locale populaire, though there is no pressure for independence. Wallis and Futuna also has a territorial council made up of three traditional kings and three other appointed members.

People:15,000. Polynesian, speaking Wallisian and French.

Government:Overseas collectivity of France. Capital: Mata-Utu

Economy:GDP per capita: $PPP 3,800. Main exports: taro and other crops. Relies heavily on French aid

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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