was an UN Trust Territory administrated by Australia until it became independent
A very small South Pacific island country
(21 KM2), it recently took the step of
recognizing Abkhazia and
South Ossetia's independence. It apparently received
aid of $50M from Russia for these actions.
In 2002 it severed relations with Taiwan in favor of China. According to the US
State department, Nauru received a promise of $130M in aid from China for this
action. In 2005 it switched its allegiance back to Taiwan when it received a
bailout of Air Nauru from bankruptcy.
During the 1960's and 70's it enjoyed the highest per capita income in the world, mainly due
to its phosphate exports. In 1999 it had a per capita income of around $3,450 for
each of it's 11,500 inhabitants.
Nauru has also been
known as Pleasant Island. It remains a nation where laughter rings out in
the most unlikely places. Visitors to the island agree - they are very
hospitable people and it is impossible to walk more than ten meters without
being offered a lift.
The flood of asylum
seekers is seemingly unquenchable and Nauru seems to be the buffer zone in
Australia's Pacific solution to its refugee problems. Many Nauruans however seem
less concerned with the economics involved than with the dimension of human
suffering. They have donated piles of used clothes, hats and toys, and a number
of families have asked asylum seekers to lunch. Nauru is one of the most
hospitable nations in the Pacific.