Fiji is the most developed of the Pacific Island economies. By global standards, however, the economy is fragile, its geographic location vulnerable to natural disasters, isolation from major markets, issues associated with land management, political instability and an antiquated infrastructure. About 34 per cent of the population are living below the poverty line. This figure is even greater in rural areas. Within Fijian society both women and youth face additional hurdles. Women are less likely to receive tertiary education, gain access to better jobs or be promoted. Youth unemployment, urban drift and homelessness are also increasing in Fiji.
Fiji has already met Millennium Development Goal 2 of achieving universal primary education. However, increasing rate of dropout in primary schools is a major challenge for Fiji. One of the main reasons for this increase is the inability of the students to afford education. Maintaining the curriculum level equivalent to the changing labour market is another challenge faced by the education sector.
Overall Fiji’s health sector faces problems relating to lack of financial resources to develop health infrastructure and staff shortages in key specialized areas.
Fiji has been able to reduce the under-five mortality rate, from 27.8 in 1990 to 23.6 in 2008. Similarly, the maternal mortality rate has been reduced from 41 in 1990 to 32 per 100,000 live births in 2008. The government of Fiji has also created a health service network that ensures most Fijians are within a one hour walk of a nurse or doctor. However, the quality of services varies significantly, and the health centres are concentrated in urban areas.
Like many developing countries, Fiji faces the key challenge of combating the pollution caused by increased urbanisation and industrial growth. Increased strain on waste facilities and poor industrial practice are of particular concern due to the fact that it can lead to contamination of the island's limited water sources.
Pressure on agricultural land has led to increasing erosion which in turn has increased land degradation and threatened the livelihoods of many farmers. In the future this is likely to lead to food shortages in the long-term.
,  and  Millennium Development Goals 2nd Report, 1990-2009 Report for the Fiji Islands