Progress for Children with Equity in the Middle East and North Africa

February 2017

a boy with a backpack full with clothes in front of a fence


It has been one year since world leaders committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global agenda to improve the lives of all people, particularly the poorest, by 2030. This ambitious global agenda addresses a range of social rights including education, health and social protection. Building on their global commitments, countries must take ownership and establish national frameworks for these goals, including putting appropriate data systems in place for tracking and measuring progress.

This publication is a first attempt to consolidate available statistical evidence for the period 1990 – 2015, which demon­strates progress and achievements of MENA countries in the realization of the rights of their children. But it is not merely about numbers and percentages, because behind any statistics are the lives and well-being of thousands or millions of children.

By focusing on MDG and SDG indicators relevant to children, the publication serves as a basis for assessing the achievement of the global MDG targets and for the setting of national SDG targets for the next 15 years. Rather than presenting regional averages, the report uses data at the national and sub-na­tional level. Inter-country and in certain instances intra-country comparisons, building upon available data, help identify disparities between countries as well as in-country inequalities, thus pointing to the most deprived children.

The publication identifies some data gaps in a number of areas relevant to children, partic­ularly in the context of the SDG agenda and its indicators’ framework. Therefore, it can serve to substantiate in-country dialogues and inform specific commitments to strengthen national statistical systems. 

A boy carrying a backpack filled with clothes
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