Oman first in region to map kids’ welfare

Geneva: The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in cooperation with the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) published the Child Wellbeing and Empowerment Index (CWEI), which assesses the child life, well-being and empowerment on the level of the governorates in the Sultanate and on the level of the Sultanate compared to other countries.

The index aims at measuring the child well-being in general and not individual indices. These indices have been developed by world countries by comparing the performance of states or comparing the performance of certain group of countries or regions inside a certain state.

CWEI in the Sultanate covers children from the date of birth and adolescents up to the age of 18 years.  The sub-indices include five areas namely the physical well-being, education, home environment for the child, the risk issues, the behavior, health and nutrition.

In preparation for the report, the NCSI organized 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 also in child well-being and empowerment in the Sultanate is consistent with the standard approaches used by the United Nations.

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 is coming after 38 high-income countries and behind 59 states in terms of consumption.  Still the Omani citizens enjoy high level of heath care and protection compared to many high income countries’ citizens.

On her part, Lana Al Wereikat, UNICEF Representative in the Sultanate said that the report is one of the key researches.  She added that the Sultanate is the first Middle East country to develop a map for child well-being and empowerment 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 many high-income countries, she furthered. –ONA


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