UAE tops region in human development
Abu Dhabi, December 14, 2010
The UAE has been ranked first in Arab world and 32nd globally in human development report released by the United Nations Development Programme. Neighbours Qatar and Bahrain were ranked 38th and 39th in the global list.
The emirates was also rated as one of only three countries from the region (Qatar and Bahrain) in the category of 'very high human development,' the UNDP said while announcing the new rankings at a ceremony held on Monday in Abu Dhabi to launch the 20th anniversary edition of the report which covered 169 countries.
In the High Human Development category, Kuwait came 47th and Saudi Arabia was ranked 55th in the global list.
For the first time, the 2010 report measures human development in terms of distribution of achievements and opportunities within societies, with an inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (HDI) assessing relative progress among national groups in health, education and income.
Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, director-general of the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid said: 'Since its foundation in 1971, the UAE has always prioritized the development of its people, thanks largely to the enlightened vision of Sheikh Zayed, who believed development is about releasing human potential.'
'The fact that the UAE was rated in the category “very high human development” reflects once again the country’s continuous efforts to develop and raise the quality of life of its people,' he added.
Dr Elissar Sarrouh, the UN resident co-ordinator and UNDP resident representative in the UAE said “It is only fitting to launch the 20th anniversary edition of the HD report here in the capital of the UAE, which is working to build further on its impressive achievements in health care, educational opportunities and overall quality of life.”
“We at UNDP look forward to working to assist the UAE in its visionary pursuit of continued human development progress,” he added.
Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the undersecretary, of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi said the UAE had climbed up five ranks from its position in 2009.
In addition to the new HDI, which includes some technical refinements of its traditional indicators for income, health and education, the 2010 Human Development Report introduces three new indices to measure the extent and impact of inequality, gender gaps, and extreme poverty.
The UAE ranked first regionally and 45th globally among 138 countries covered by the Gender Inequality Index, which measure gender gaps in reproductive health, empowerment and participation in the labor force.
This performance is attributable to gender equality in education, with 77 per cent of adult women in the UAE attaining secondary or higher level of education, the same as for men.
On the regional scenario, the UN report said Arab countries together suffered a large HDI decline of 27 per cent because of substantial inequality in all the said three areas.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index, which identifies serious simultaneous deprivations in health, education and living standards, shows that the Arab region is home for an estimated 39 million poor people, the report said.-TradeArabia News Service