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Guinea-Bissau

Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 1,611,000 (2009)
National language: Portuguese, Crioulo
Per capita income: US$ 510/year (2009)
Life expectancy: 48 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
61% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
21% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 193/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today! Guinea-Bissau gained independence from Portugal in 1974. The name of its capital city, Bissau, is used to avoid confusion with the neighboring Republic of Guinea.

Roughly three times the size of Connecticut, Guinea-Bissau is located in Western Africa and is bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south and east. It is one of the world’s ten poorest nations: the government frequently has difficulty financing development projects, in part due to heavy international debt.

The majority of workers are employed in subsistence-level farming of rice and corn. In recent years, the cashew industry has boomed, and this small country is now the world’s sixth-largest producer of cashews. In the coastal regions, fishing and shrimp-catching help support the local economy.

Plan Guinea-Bissau works with over 21,000 children and their families in 600 communities, promoting economic development and sustainable farming techniques throughout the country. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.