KUWAIT- ROLE OF DIFFERENT ORGANISATIONS HAVE BECOME THE ACTUAL DEVELOPEMENT PILLAR OF THIS COUNTRY
( P.S; I have refered to the UNDP Report of Kuwait,‘Arab Times ‘ news website, ‘Integrated implementation framework’ website, and even interviewed Mr. Melwin Corda who has a work experience of 21 years of service in Kuwait)
In 2000, it was the United Nations which helped establish Millennium Development Goals, which were decided by its Millennium Summit. Through continuous discussion between different World Leaders regarding the problems faced by them, 8 Millennium Development goals that were listed down are as follows:
1. Reduce Poverty and Eradicate Hunger
2. Achieving Universal primary education
3. Promoting Gender equality and empowering women
4. Reducing Child Mortality rates
5. Improving Maternal Health
6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
7. Ensuring Environmental Sustainability
8. Developing a Global Partnership for Development
Each and every Country is assigned to accomplish the above mentioned goals by 2015. But the stake difference that lies in the process of achieving these is that there are different categories under each goal differs from country to country.
The categories or indicators of different levels of achievement of these goals for Kuwait are as follows:
Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger.
Target 1: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day
1. Proportion of population below $1 per person per day.
2. Poverty gap ratio.
3. Share of poorest quintile in national consumption.
Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
4. Prevalence on underweight under-five years of age children.
5. Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption.
The Household Income and Expenditure Survey analysed the income earning for a time period from the year 1999-2000 (HIES). The HIES found that the average per capita expenditure for the poorest Kuwaitis amounted to KD.108.4 per month (which is equivalent to US$353.4 per month or about US$11.8 per person per day). Through the results HIES concluded that the average expenditure of the Kuwaiti poor is about ten times higher than the international poverty line of US$1.08 per person per day. On the basis of the expenditure between the ‘so called’ poor who spend lavishly as the rich do on a regular basis, the income poverty of Kuwait has been successful in eliminating extreme poverty for its citizens.
In order to know situation of Kuwait, I interviewed Mr. Melwin Corda, who has worked in that country from past 21 years. According to his observation, The Government itself provides certain amount of income to each family which will in turn help the population of Kuwait live in a uniform standard of living being able to fulfil the basic as well as the luxurious needs as far as possible. This in a way, proves that the country has been successful in proving itself in terms of income security and this in a way will help this country to lower down the levels of hunger among the young citizens of Kuwait.
Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education.
Target 3: Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
6. Net enrolment ratio in primary education.
7. Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5.
8. Literacy rate of 15-24 years old.
Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women.
Target 4: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005 and at all levels of education no later than 2015.
9. Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
10. Ratio of literate females to males of 15-24 years of age.
11. Share of women in wage employment in non-agricultural sector.
12. Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament.
A survey was conducted and the increased ratio of girls compared to boys in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education proved that Kuwait was able to achieve the goal of gender equality in education by 2000 itself. This also proves the realisation of Kuwait regarding the importance of providing education to women as well.
According to the UNDP Report of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Parliament granted political rights to Kuwaiti women by the amendment of election laws on 16th May, 2005. This type of equal political position given to women could be easily noticed in May 2009 general elections, as four women won seats in the Kuwaiti parliament. This in fact proves the political empowerment of women both nationally and regionally.
On 16th May, 2012, the UNDP Report of Kuwait stated that this country has specially adopted the WRACATI Project to bring about further improvements in Women’s rights in the Kuwaiti Constitution, national legislation and Kuwait’s international obligations This can be considered as one of the key initiatives under the umbrella of Human & Social development, as it encourages equal participation of women in the country political, economic, and social development. This in a way proves that Kuwait has almost reached the level of accomplishment of this 3rd Goal through the adoption of such projects which considers equality to be the key to Human development.
When Mr.Melwin Corda was asked regarding the social position and respect for women in Kuwait. He mentioned that there’s no distinction made in case of minimum wages based on the gender per sae but instead the wages are provided to men as well as women on the basis of work experience. There’s continuous policing on the streets of Kuwait to catch hold of roadside romeos. This in fact proves the initiatives taken up by Kuwait that Women re treated equally in every sphere of life.
Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality.
Target 5: Reduce by two third, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.
13. Under-five mortality rate.
14. Infant mortality rate.
15. Proportion of 1 year old children immunized against measles.
Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health.
Target 6: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate.
16. Maternal mortality rate.
17. Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel.
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases.
Target 7: Have halted by 2015, and begun to reverse, the spread of HIV/AIDS.
18. HIV prevalence among 15-24 years old pregnant women.
19. Condom use contraceptive prevalence rate.
20. Number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Target 8: Have halted by 2015, and begun to reverse, the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
21. Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria.
22. Proportion of population in malaria risk areas using effective malaria prevention and treatment measures.
23. Prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis.
24. Proportion of TB cases detected and cured under directly observed treatment short course (DOTS).
According to the UNDP Report of Kuwait, this country established a National Committee which had composed from representatives of various sectors like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Blood Bank for HIV/AIDS in February 2010 and made UNDP its official member in it. The UNGASS prepared by this committee identified the gaps in HIV/AIDS work in Kuwait, like the lack of a HIV/AIDS Strategy for Kuwait, no VCT centres, lack of involvement of the NGOs, , and lack of awareness and advocacy efforts. Through these findings, Kuwait made sure that it commits itself towards making its nation a malaria free country. The State of Kuwait aims to combat, control and reverse HIV/AIDS and TB by 2015.
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.
Target 9: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
25. Proportion of land area covered by forest.
26. Land area protected to maintain biological diversity.
27. GDP per unit of energy use (as a proxy for energy efficiency).
28. Per capita carbon dioxide emissions.
Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
29. Proportion of population using solid fuels.
30. Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source.
Target 11: By 2002, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
31. Proportion of people with access to improved sanitation.
32. Proportion of people with access to secure tenure.
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development.
Indicators subject to further refinements
Kuwait committed itself to the Global Partnership for Development in September 2010. According to the ‘Integrated implementation framework’ website, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will help in supporting the financial development and infrastructure projects in more than 100 countries and its actual total a total value of almost $15 billion. It also provides double the percentage of GNP as internationally agreed upon for Official Development Assistance.
As mentioned in the ‘Arab Times ‘ news website article dated on 26th February , 2013 , International Development Association is one of the world’s largest sources of aid, as it provides support for health and education, infrastructure and agriculture, and economic and institutional development to 79 of the least developed countries. In order to lend a helping hand across the globe, Kuwait has donated funds to the IDA and even the World Bank’s Funds. This type of contribution from Kuwait has helped in funding the development projects and programs in low-income countries in the period between July 2011 and June 2014, including countries of the Arab world, such as Yemen, Djibouti and Mauritania. The World Bank’s Vice-President visited Kuwait in mid – February in order to deepen partnership between Kuwait and the World Bank in support of the world’s poorest countries. During the visit, Kuwait Mustafa Al-Shamali promised the World Bank that the government of Kuwait will not spare any effort to support development work for the betterment of people’s lives. In short, Kuwait has been fully dedicated to the goal of achieving a Global Partnership towards other countries.
Through analysis of the efforts taken up by Kuwait as a country towards one’s own country as well as its contribution towards less privileged countries, it seems Kuwait might become the most efficient nation to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals soon.
BY NICOLE FERNANDES, 3744, TYBMM JOURNALISM, SOPHIA COLLEGE