The Solomon Islands are facing increasing poverty and the economic performance of the country is lagging behind other Pacific countries. Together with the lack of environmental sustainability and the vulnerability to climate change and disaster risks, these are key challenges within the islands. The islands are affected by floods, king tides and natural disasters (e.g. tsunamis) which are causing wide-reaching costs for the communities.
Although 80% of the population live in rural areas, the Solomon Islands is considered to be one of the world’s fastest urbanizing countries, with an annual urban growth rate of 4.7 percent. This is leading to increased urban poverty and informal settlements with a lack of sanitation and infrastructure. Furthermore, employment rates are low and significant gender inequalities exist in all spheres. UN-Habitat focuses its work on informal settlements and seeks to reduce these obstacles, as well as support the island’s urban management and planning practices, in particular with the implementation of a city-wide settlements upgrading strategy for Honiara, the islands’ largest urban area.