The major health issues in relation to food in Kiribati are NCDs and malnutrition in children which is mainly caused by an unhealthy diet. Kiribati’s poor soil fertility makes it very difficult to plant food crops such as fruits and vegetables and therefore extra effort is needed to manage household gardens in order to provide sufficient nutrients/compost to enable crop production. As a result, Kiribati people tend to rely on imported foods which is easier to obtain such as rice, flour and canned food. This results in increased cases of hypertension, diabetes and malnutrition in children. Increased periods of droughts which is now experienced more often due to climate change also increases the risk of diarrhoea in children. Poor waste management and overcrowding among households is also another contributing factor.





  • Non-Communicable Disease: Hypertension and diabetes
  • Malnutrition: stunting (bakitaia)
  • Water borne disease: diarrhoea & dysentery