The economic development in Kiribati is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. The main problems arising from these constraints are the twin issues of poverty and unemployment. Lack of access to opportunities is considered as the main cause of poverty in Kiribati.
Kiribati achieved the goal of universal access to primary education in 2005 with a Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) above 100%. However, a high dropout rate, gender disparities existing in higher levels of schooling and limited access to tertiary education still remains a challenge.
Although health indicators have improved in recent years Kiribati continues to see the highest under five mortality rate in the Pacific, low life expectancy and a high incidence of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. There is a shortage of trained medical personnel in Kiribati. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the population of Kiribati is dispersed across a vast area of ocean, making it much more difficult to provide cost effective health services to the outer islands.
Global warming has serious implications for Kiribati as rising sea levels pose a real threat to its already small land area. Rising seas could also reduce the availability of fresh water. Another major and immediate concern is the management of waste and the control of pollution. Fresh water supplies in the country are limited.
 and  MDG Report 2007