Continued Improvements in Health and Hunger in Oman

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MUSCAT — Oman’s Global Food Security Index score increased in 2017 by 0.2 to an overall score of 73.9 out of 100. The Global Food Security Index measures how secure a country’s food supply is by evaluating food affordability, availability, the quality and safety of the food, and the country’s natural resources and resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

While many countries, such as the United States, Australia and Canada, saw declines in scores – indicating at least somewhat decreased food security – Oman’s score strengthened. The stronger score reflects continued progress in the fight against hunger in Oman.

Since agreeing to the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals in 2000, Oman has made great strides in fully achieving these goals. The Eight Millennium Development goals are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, to achieve universal primary education, to promote gender equality and empower women, to reduce child mortality, to improve maternal health, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, to ensure environmental sustainability, and to develop a global partnership for development.

Between 1990 and 2015, Oman halved the number of people facing extreme hunger and poverty. Additionally, it was projected in 2016 that zero percent of people in Oman will earn less than one dollar per day.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) shows the improvement of hunger in Oman as well. In 1992, Oman’s GHI score was 21.1; since then, it has continued to decline, reaching 10.4 in 2016. The GHI measures a country’s hunger based upon four components: undernourishment, child wasting (wasting meaning low weight for a child’s height), child stunting and child mortality.

Since 1992, Oman has maintained a steady decline in undernourishment, coming down from 19 percent of the population as undernourished in 1992, to 4.1 percent of the population in 2016. Wasting in children remains rather stagnant, with 7.8 percent of children in 1992 who showed wasting to 7.5 percent in 2016. Stunting in children rose slightly, however, between 2008 and 2016 increasing from 9.8 percent to 14.1 percent.

Past efforts to end hunger in Oman have been extremely successful, and efforts are still being made to continue Oman’s progress toward a healthier, more successful society. Recently, Oman’s minister of health announced that the Oman private sector employees will be given the legal right to receive health insurance starting at the beginning of next year.

Progress in health care helps to resolve hunger in Oman because problems such as wasting and undernourishment can be more easily treated when all people have access to improved healthcare.

Mary Kate Luft

Photo: Flickr

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