Workshop on child welfare takes place in Oman

04 November 2015

MUSCAT, Oman, 4 November 2015 – A two-day workshop to review child wellbeing indicators in Oman ended today in the capital, Muscat.

The workshop, run by the Ministry of Social Development and The Research Council with support from UNICEF is part of the national social observatory that is currently being developed in the country.

The workshop which draws specialists and key stakeholders on child welfare focused on reviewing and defining indicators related to cohesion of the family, the youth and the labour sectors.

Speaking during the workshop, UNICEF Representative in Oman, Osama Makkawi said, “The child wellbeing indicators are a key tool to monitor the progress being made for children as well as provide the knowledge required for policy formulation, planning and making sound investment decisions for children.”

Over the years, Oman has made dramatic progress in improving the situation of children. In 1971, one in every five children was likely to die before the fifth birth day and only 20 percent were fully immunized. Today, 99 out of every 100 children survive beyond five years and immunization rates stand at 98 percent.

Across the country, both girls and boys enjoy universal primary education; secondary school enrolment stand at 88 percent for girls and 80 percent for boys; and 98 percent of youth between 15 to 24 years are literate.

Mr Makkawi however noted that despite the results achieved for children so far, there are challenges and emerging realities that need to be continuously addressed to ensure the gains made are sustained. These include economic changes driven by the dynamics of the global energy markets which will raise questions over the sustainability of Oman’s petro-economy; changes in urbanization, the status of women and the growth of a generation of children and youth with new expectations.

“Such changes must be monitored. The future can’t be left to chance”, Mr Makkawi said. “The future of Oman lies in its children and future dividends can only be harvested if we invest in them today,” he added.

Mr Makkawi emphasized that the set of child wellbeing indicators being developed will help firmly keep children on Oman’s development path.

He reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to continue supporting the efforts of the government and the work of The Research Council towards a future that is fit for children.

For more information, contact:
Silvia Placid, UNICEF Oman, email: splacid@unicef.org Tel: +96824498932
Bismarck Swangin, UNICEF Amman, email: bswangin@unicef.org Tel: + +962 (0) 790 157 636

Media Contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Chief of Communications
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962798674628

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About UNICEF in Oman

UNICEF has been working in partnership with the Government of Oman since 1971 to improve the health and social services for children and women in the Sultanate. In 1982 UNICEF opened its office in Muscat, becoming a full-fledged country office in 1987. Since then this partnership has culminated in numerous gains for children.