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UAE ranked the first Arab Country, 30th Globally in the Human Development Index (final add)

Jan 8, 2012 - 08:40 -

WAM Abu Dhabi, Jan 08th, 2012 (WAM)--xxxx. World. Thus; if a part in the world has become richer it will in turn witness a deterioration in such environmental main indicators, carbon dioxide emissions, soil and water quality and other environmental indicators.

Alsawsawa said in this respect that in the Arab region a number of challenges are faced regarding sustainability because the region is the most arid area in the world, thus, badly impacting development in several domains including healthcare, agriculture, food security and urbanization. She called for using scientific creative techniques according to well considered integrated strategies.

She added that it is important for the Arab countries such as UAE to continue their investment in technology that is necessary for water security in order to secure more fresh renewable water reservoir which are really very low.

Al Sawsawa said that the report sets another challenge related to poverty levels in the world, which requires from the countries including the Arab countries to boost the poor and local communities through efforts aiming at lowering its levels. Several countries succeeded in that by means of achieving the highest levels of human development by focusing on the data indicating the existence of poverty enclaves within their boundaries that should be eliminated.

She lauded the distinguished record of UAE of human development, specially over the 40 years that followed its establishment as a federal state. She called upon all to think deeply of the challenges reflected in the report, because of their great importance not only for countries that still strive for human development but also for those that accomplished much progress in this regard.

Abdullah Lootah, Secretary General of Emirates Competitiveness Council, said that UAE has become pioneering in human development as it has been on top of Arab countries in the World Human Development Report 2011 for the second consecutive year, and the 30th among 187 countries globally.

Lootah said it is by virtue of successful policies followed by the leadership and the government, UAE achieved such a prominent place in human development. UAE strategies were and still built on developing the human capital focusing on accomplishing the highest rates of improvement and growth in education, healthcare and quality of life coping with its 2021 strategy that aim at achieving sustainable development in all domains.

He mentioned that UAE dedicated 46 per cent of its 2011 budget to spend on education, healthcare and community, as the government offers compulsory free education and support the citizens through several options in the field of higher education.

He added that education system in UAE copes with the commitments towards human development standards. In both primary and secondary education phases, the country moved from 74 schools with 32800 students in 1971 to more than 1000 schools with 800000 students today. In higher education, there are 76 higher education institutions across the country. Also UAE hosts some world pioneering institutions in higher education such as Sorbonne University, INSIAD, London School of Business, New York University and others.

In healthcare, he said that Ministry of Health and healthcare authorities in UAE established pioneering healthcare networks in relation to facilities, skills and quality. Government hospitals are more than 90 and primary healthcare centres and maternity care centres are 246 across the country as well as a number of private medical centres.

Thus UAE has become a medical care destination in the region. For example the joint successful project between the government of Abu Dhabi and Imperial college for establishing Imperial college for diabetes in UAE.

He added that UAE is still determined to take important steps to face the current challenges specially renewable energy needs in the future by injecting tremendous investments to improve renewable and alternative energy sources including wind and solar energies and other non-traditional sources in order to reduce dependency on oil as a sole source of energy.

He said that H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, has clearly delineated the future vision for UAE, as said: "We are still going forward in developing our human resources, building the skills and capabilities, as we believe that human being is the purpose. We will continue also to encourage the qualified local professionals in order to let them occupy their normal place in leading the current surge to ensure a promising and shining future".

He mentioned that the 2011-2013 UAE strategy defined seven main priorities: coherent society, preserve the identity, first class educational system, providing healthcare for all, knowledge based competitive economy, ensuring fair judiciary, sustainable environment and infrastructure.

He added : "UAE has accomplished a remarkable economic progress. It has become the second biggest GCC economy, as its GDP grew from 6.5 b. Dirhams in 1971 to 1248 b. Dirhams currently as of real value. While the economy has witnessed 4 per cent growth in 2011.

Concluding his address, Lootah thanked UNDP, asserting that UAE is keen to endear the continual cooperation with UNDP, governments, international organizations, academia and individuals to realize the hopes of the peoples in the world of achieving the highest rates of human development.