Human development boost: KSA ranked 34th

Updated 26 July 2014

Human development boost: KSA ranked 34th

Saudi Arabia ranked 34th in the Human Development Index (HDI) of 2014 out of a total of 187 countries and territories.
Saudi Arabia’s HDI value increased from 0.583 to 0.836, an increase of 43.3 percent, or an average annual increase of about 1.10 percent, between 1980 and 2013.
The current figure is considered very high within the global indicator.
According to the 2014 Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in Riyadh on Thursday, human development is improving in Arab states, with some countries showing very high development.
Still, there remain wide variations between these countries, as the region faces several challenges that can hinder progress.
Qatar ranks first among Arab countries in the index, while Sudan scores lowest. The region is ahead in terms of per capita income, at $15,817, which is 15 percent higher than the world average. The region, however, trails global averages in life expectancy and years of schooling.
The report, entitled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” provides a human development perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.
The report points to major challenges in the region, including conflict, youth unemployment and inequality, which have created overlapping vulnerabilities that, if left unchecked, can hamper human development now and in the future.
“By addressing vulnerabilities, development progress and human development will become increasingly equitable and sustainable,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in her report.
Ongoing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere in the region have severely affected families and created the world’s largest population of displaced people and refugees who face daunting economic and social challenges, the report says.
Women and children, who make up the highest proportion of displaced people, face overlapping deprivations, the report adds.
They often live in poverty without access to public services, such as basic health care and education. Such deprivations can cause lasting health problems, including mental health complications, and contribute to lost livelihoods, undermining long-term capabilities.
Saudi Arabia has a Gender Inequality Index (GII) value of 0.321, ranking it 56 out of 149 countries in the 2013 index.
Meanwhile, 19.9 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women and 60.5 percent of adult women reach at least a secondary level of education, compared with 70.3 percent among their male counterparts.
For every 100,000 live births, 24.0 women die from pregnancy related causes, while the adolescent birth rate is 10.2 births per 1,000 live births. Female participation in the labor market is pegged at 18.2 percent, compared with 75.5 for men.

FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Updated 15 min 42 sec ago

FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi has been the president of the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) since his appointment to the post in May 2016.

On Monday GASTAT announced this year’s Hajj statistics, revealing detailed information on the number of pilgrims (which amounted to 2,371,675) performing Hajj this year, their genders, nationalities and whether they arrived through air, land or seaports.

The president conveyed his gratitude to all government and security entities that helped the authority to collect data, and praised the 450 GASTAT researchers who worked to compile the information and deliver it to the public.

He said that the collected data would help facilitate better experiences and easier pilgrimages for future programs, and better services for pilgrims — from social to health, and transportation to security and food.

Altekhaifi received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from King Saud University in 1992, a master’s degree in statistics from Colorado State University in 1996, and his applied statistics and research methodology Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in 2001.

He worked as a manager of a financial program at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh from 1993 to 2005. For two years after that, he was a project director at the EIS department in Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants.

In 2007, Altekhaifi was appointed a manager of the research department at the Capital Market Authority, before becoming assistant deputy minister for development in November 2011. 

In June 2015, he was the director general of the Central Department of Statistics and Information. He served as the acting president of GASTAT in February 2016, before being appointed president on May 2016.