Oman first in region to map kids’ welfare

Geneva: The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in cooperation with the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) published the Child Wellbeing and Empowerment Index (CWEI), which assesses status of children in the Sultanate and where it stands compared to rest of the world .
CWEI in the Sultanate covers children from the date of birth and adolescents up to 18 years of age. The sub-indices include five areas namely the physical well-being, education, home environment for the child, the risk issues, the behaviour, health and nutrition.
In preparation for the report, the NCSI organised a seminar on the aims of sustainable development and children in the Sultanate. The seminar aimed at reaching a consensus on the most appropriate indices to monitor the status of children in the Sultanate. The approach used to assess child well-being in the Sultanate is consistent with the standard approaches used by the UN.
The revision and analysis of CWEI in the Sultanate, compared to other countries, pointed out that most indices at the five fields and the final index are high. The Sultanate scored 82.08 of 100 and came 23rd from among 94 states that have data on the 16 indices. Governorate-wise, Muscat and Musandam registered the highest performance in the index.
Dr Khalifa bin Abdullah al Barwani, CEO of NCSI, said that the high indices in this manual reflect the achievements made by the Sultanate in the field of child well-being and empowerment. The achievement is also the fruit of the collaboration of the efforts made by the different sectors to care for children and adolescents which are the future of our society.
He added that the Sultanate is one of the top 10 countries in the world in providing comprehensive health care free of charge for citizens despite the Sultanate stand below 38 high-income countries and behind 59 states in terms of consumption. Omanis enjoy better heath care compared to many rich world citizens.
Lana al Wereikat, UNICEF Representative in the Sultanate, said that the Sultanate is the first Middle East country to develop a map for child well-being after developing its own indices.
“The methodology used in identifying the local variations inside the Sultanate contributed to ensuring more specific interventions that can achieve better results for children in all parts of the Sultanate. On the global level, the Sultanate of Oman has witnessed impressive achievement in the field of child well-being and performed better than many high-income countries.” — ONA