Qatar has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets ahead of the 2015 deadline, a report prepared by the Qatar Statistics Authority showed.
Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) chief Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor al-Thani, who released the report yesterday, said that all the development goals that required particular steps by the government had been met five years before time.
However, the QSA chief said the challenges facing Qatar in achieving all the MDGs were mainly in women empowerment and gender equality.
“Qatar has met most of the development goals set in 2000 thanks to the full support of the state leadership. But, it was the goals that needed a significant change in the social traditions and customs like women empowerment and gender equality which still need more time,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor told reporters at a press conference held at the QSA office.
The millennium development goals, which were set by the UN member states in 2000, include combating poverty, hunger, illiteracy and under-five mortality rates.
The report, which was prepared by the QSA in association with the Population Permanent Committee and the regional office of the UNDP, indicated that Qatar has been a key player in promoting development around the world through its assistance to the poor countries as well as its contribution to development-related initiatives.
Giving figures of the development assistance given by Qatar from 2005 to 2009, the report pointed out that the assistance totalled more than $2bn.
About poverty and hunger eradication targets, the report said the high living standards in the country dismissed the possibility of finding persons with “one-dollar income or suffering from hunger”.
About efforts to combat illiteracy, it said Qatar’s literacy rates touched 99% among males and females in 2009.
It showed that the gender gap in education has been bridged as the male to female ratio in pre-university education was found to be equal, while the gap was found to be in favour of females in university education.
About women empowerment, it said women contribution to the economic activities was on rise as their participation in workforce rose from 30% in 2004 to 36% in 2009.
For women’s political participation, the report cited the high turnout of women during the third elections to the Central Municipal Council, pointing out that a woman candidate also won a seat in the election.
“The Qatari society is heading towards more awareness on the importance of women’s political participation: the Constitution gives women equal rights,” the report added.
About “under-five mortality”, it said death rates among children below five decreased from 16% in 1990 to less than 9% in 2009, while new-born babies deaths declined from 8.5 for each 10000 to 4.8 during the same period.
The number of children receiving the measles vaccination totalled 100% in 2009.
The report concluded that Qatar’s achievements were very close to the economically advanced states.
About environment sustainability, the report said the natural reserves area increased from 11% of the country’s total area to touch 29%, which the report said, was higher than the world standard of 10% of the state’s total area.
It also added that the number of Internet users increased from 24.7% for each 100 in 2005 to 43% in 2009.
The press conference was attended by Dr Hassan al-Mohannadi who is the deputy chairman of the Population Permanent Committee (PPC), among others.
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