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UAE tops the region in human development

Allan Jacob / 3 November 2011

It is another feather in the UAE’s cap with the country leading 19 Arab countries in the United Nations Human Development Programme’s Human Development Index 2011.

DUBAI - It is another feather in the UAE’s cap with the country leading 19 Arab countries in the United Nations Human Development Programme’s Human Development Index 2011. The UNDP report, titled ‘Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All’, covers 187 nations and territories, and was released on Wednesday.

The UAE, at 30, moves up two spots from last year on the Human Development Index. It is among the 47 countries showing ‘Very High Human Development’. Qatar (37) and Bahrain, at 42, are the other two countries from the region in the top quarter led by Norway, Australia and The Netherlands. Congo, Niger and Burundi are last on the list.

Tunisia which sparked off the Arab Spring earlier this year comes in at number 94, which also has Libya at 64 in the ‘High Human Development’ quarter of the index. Others like Saudi Arabia (56), Kuwait (63) and Lebanon (61) make their mark, while Sudan (169), Djibouti (165) and Yemen (154)  are among the worst performers.

Better health systems and educational institutions have ensured the UAE (38) leads the region’s Gender Equality Index, with Bahrain (44) and Tunisia (45) ranking next best in the region. However, human development advances here are at ‘‘risk from widespread gender and generational inequalities — which are at the heart of grassroots discontent in many Arab countries’’, says the report.

While expressing concern about CO2 emissions, the report lauds several countries for taking to renewable alternatives.

“Sustainability is not exclusively or even primarily an environmental issue,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in the report’s introduction. “It is fundamentally about how we choose to live our lives, with an awareness that everything we do has consequences for the seven billions of us here today, as well as for the billions more who will follow.”

allan@khaleejtimes.comx

 
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