The Maldives is perceived as the ‘original paradise’ for holidaymakers. But behind this image, nearly half of all Maldivians are living in poverty. The Maldives are seen as idyllic and close to perfection, the holiday destination of a lifetime: beautiful sandy beaches, turquoise sea and private resort islands. But on the flip side, many Maldivians have a very different experience. Tourism is the major industry in the Maldives, with the potential to stop poverty and improve local living conditions. But this is not happening... nearly half of the local population are living on just over $1 a day, which according to international standards means they are living in poverty. Maldivian people are suffering – fresh fruit and vegetables go directly to tourist islands, bypassing local people. The UN recently found over 30% of Maldivian children under five suffering from malnutrition, a situation as acute as Sub-Saharan Africa. Local people are unable to speak out about these awful conditions...
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