Posted on March 17, 2014

The Ministry of Development Planning & Statistics, and the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the fourth report of sustainable development in Qatar.

The report is aimed at measuring improvement of life quality, and standard of living achieved by the country, in addition to the measurement of the level of progress in the social, economic and environmental aspects. The sustainable development fourth report monitors the strong and weak points by reviewing the identified indicators. The report also provides data and results, compares them with other countries’ ones, and formulates expectations in the light of that.

The release of the report comes within the framework of Johannesburg Plan of Action, and the decisions of UN Commission on Sustainable Development 2011, which confirm that countries should draft national reports on sustainable development indicators to measure the progress achieved in the social, economic and environmental development, and to underline the challenges that they confront.

The report affirms that sustainable development in Qatar has become the prime interest of the wise leadership. Qatar National Vision 2030 established a new conception of a vital society, where social and economic justice prevails, and the balance between human being and environment is maintained, and a decent life for the entire population is ensured.

To attain this vision, the National Development Strategy 2011-2012 has been adopted as a theoretical, practical and pragmatic framework via the implementation of numerous projects in areas of economic, social, human and environmental development.

The report is divided into three chapters; the first tackles the social indicators relevant to population matters, such as education, health, poverty and labor market. The second chapter presents the economic indicators related to the economic structure and development, and patterns of durable production and consumption etc. The third chapter focuses on the environmental indicators which cover the subjects of the atmosphere, land use and biodiversity.

Qatar made, according to the report, further progress in the entire development pillars (social and economic). The State of Qatar has been ranked first worldwide regarding many of these indicators.

The report clarifies that Qatar achieved a concrete progress in social development to reduce unemployment which did not pass 1%, the least worldwide. It also achieved a high level of gender equality.Besides, Qatar made available the health care plan with full coverage, leading to a slump in the under-five mortality rate from (10 per a thousand) in 2006 to (7 per a thousand) in 2012, and in maternal mortality rate during pregnancy as well. Life expectancy at birth rose by 5.1 years, an increase from 74.1 years in 2006 to 79.2 years in 2012.

According to the report, Qatar has ensured drinking water sources and sanitation for the entire population. As for the education indicators, the country has made a tangible progress in adult education; adults literacy rate rose from 89.5% in 2006 to 96.7% in 2012. This means that illiteracy rate did not exceed 3.3% of total adult population.

This development has been reflected on the health and education indicators; Qatar has attained an advanced position in the human development guide, it was globally ranked 36 among 187 countries included in the human development report 2013. Qatar was ranked among the countries with high human development.

The State of Qatar has economically achieved a significant progress. It is the world’s richest country in terms of GDP per capita. Qatar investment as percentage of GDP outperforms the developed countries’ which are well-informed in this field.

The report clarifies that inflation did not exceed 2% in 2012, after it was more than 11% in 2006. Now, it is less than its counterpart in the developed countries. The report also underlines the strength of external economic situation in Qatar. The current account balance attained a surplus during the period (2006-2012), and its proportion of the GDP passed 32% in 2012, leading to a positive impact on the macro-economic performance and on its FX reserves.

The country achieved a huge progress towards the knowledge economy due to the increase of information technology and communication which are one of the fundamentals of the knowledge economy. The coverage rate for mobile phones exceeded 190%, and in turn, outnumbered its counterpart in the developed countries (122%). The indicator of internet use by population rose from almost 28% in 2006 to 49% in 2012.

As for the patterns of production and consumption, the report clarifies that Qatar is classified among the top ten countries regarding the consumption indicator of electric power. The recycling rate is still in decline by 9% of total waste generated, which is far less than Switzerland and Germany where recycling passed 50%.

Qatar has environmentally achieved a remarkable progress, despite the environmental challenges that it encounters. It could attain an unprecedented achievement in biodiversity and preservation of organisms. The nature reserves indicator as per the country’s total surface area increased substantially from 12.9% in 2006 to 23.5% in 2012. Thus, Qatar has passed the international standard (10%), and now it is on top of the world countries regarding this indicator.

Despite these achievements in sustainable development, the country is still facing environmental challenges such as the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the extractive and manufacturing industries. However, the country has set up plans within the development strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels.

The Ministry of Development Planning & Statistics, and the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hope that this report would be a reference for the decision and policy makers to outline the actions required to reach progress in sustainable development, and to evaluate the achievements of the implementation of the NDS 2011-2016, under the new organizational structure of the Qatar’s ministries and authorities that have recently been announced.

Click here to see the graphs.