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Index of progress jumps five slots.

Summary: Muscat: The Sultanate's Human Development Index (HDI) has jumped five positions -- from 89 in ...

Muscat: The Sultanate's Human Development Index (HDI) has jumped five positions -- from 89 in 2011 to 84 in 2013 -- according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report published yesterday. The Sultanate's HDI is 0.731, which gives the country a ranking of 84 out of 187 countries with comparable data, according to the 2013 Human Development Report, titled 'The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World'. According to the report, the Sultanate's HDI value for 2011 was 0.705 -- in the high human development category -- positioning the country at 89 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 2005 and 2011, Oman's HDI value increased from 0.694 to 0.705, an increase of 2.0 per cent or an average annual increase of about 0.3 per cent. "The HDI of Arab States as a region increased from 0.443 in 1980 to 0.652, placing Oman above the regional average," the report stated. The 2013 Human Development Report examines the profound shift in global dynamics driven by the fast-rising new powers of the developing world and its long-term implications for human development. Arab States could reap a major 'demographic dividend' if they can convert their advances in education into employment opportunities for their youth, says the 2013 Human Development Report. But a failure to accelerate job growth could further worsen social and economic tensions in the region, the report warns. There are two countries in the region, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, in the very high human development group and eight other countries, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Lebanon, Algeria and Tunisia, in the high human development group; six countries, Jordan, occupied Palestinian territory, Egypt, Syrian Arab Republic, Morocco and Iraq, in the medium human development group; and the remaining three, Yemen, Djibouti and Sudan, are in the low human development group. "The Arab States region has both the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest labour force participation rate, especially for women," says Sima Bahous, Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States. "For many Arabs today, the true measure of development achievement lies in the number of decent jobs created, and opportunities afforded to people to be productive and economically secure." Each year since 1990 the Human Development Report has published the HDI, which was introduced as an alternative to conventional measures of national development, such as levels of income and the rate of economic growth. Norway, Australia and the United States lead the rankings of 187 countries and territories in the latest HDI, while conflict-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and drought-stricken Niger have the lowest scores. The top ten countries also include the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland and Japan. However, it may be noted that China has already overtaken Japan as the world's second largest economy and India is reshaping its future with new entrepreneurial creativity and social policy innovations.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2013

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Mar 16, 2013
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