Saudi Arabia ranks lowest in suicides: WHO report

Updated 23 August 2016

Saudi Arabia ranks lowest in suicides: WHO report

JEDDAH: “I feel glad that my children will have very less chances of having suicidal tendencies since they are growing up in the Kingdom.”
This was the reaction of Noora, a Saudi woman, to a recent report that the Kingdom has the lowest suicide rate.
A World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2012 showed that Saudi Arabia, along with Syria, ranked the lowest among 171 countries in terms of suicide, with an average 0.4 cases per year per 100,000 people.
Guyana is on top of the WHO list with a 44.2 cases per 100,000 population, followed by South Korea with 28.9, Sri Lanka with 28.8, Lithuania with 28.2 and Suriname with 27.6.
Mozambique (27.4), Nepal (24.9), Tanzania (24.9), Kazakhstan (23.6) and Burundi (23.1) round up the Top 10 in the list.
According to WHO, around 800,000 suicides are recorded every year around the world, and cases vary according to economic conditions and age groups. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-25-year-olds,” the report said.
India was No. 11 with a rate of 21.1. But being the world’s second most populous nation, it is at the top in actual numbers, with approximately 264,172 cases in a year, based on the United Nations population estimates for 2012.
China, the world’s most populous nation, ranked a far No. 95 with a suicide ratio of 7.8 per 100,000 population. But in actual numbers, it accounts for approximately 108,030 suicide cases in a year, the second highest.
Russia was No. 14 in the WHO list with a ratio of 19.5 per 100,000 population, or approximately 27,852 in actual numbers. 
In contrast, the United States, which was No. 50 in the list with a 12.1 ratio but is the world’s third most populous, has approximately 38,720 suicide cases in a year.
For Saudi Arabia, with a population estimated at 28.8 million in 2012, the actual number of suicides would be about 115 in one year.
In the WHO list, apart from Saudi Arabia and Syria, the 11 countries with the lowest suicide rates (less than 2 per 100,000) are Muslim countries, with the exception of Jamaica. The others are Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Libya and Algeria
Yazeed Mohammed Al-Shehri, assistant professor of mental health at King Abdulaziz University, said the main cause of suicide is depression and lack of happiness.
“Depression due to the death of a loved one or a dramatic shift in one’s life can be self-treated, if it is in the early stages,” he told Arab News.
“One of Islam’s great wisdoms is prayers and their timings, which could help against the early stages of depression. In addition, Islam forbids a person from harming himself or herself, let alone commit suicide,” he said.
On the comparatively lower rate of suicide cases in the Kingdom, Al-Shehri said Saudi society is a religious one and religion generally helps in keeping off depression.
“The more spiritual a person is, the more happy he or she is.”

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 55 min 8 sec ago

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.