The World Human Development (WHD) report released Wednesday by the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, ranks Qatar as number one among Arab states and 40th among 177 countries in the world in terms of progress made in social, economic, educational, health and other such fields.
On his part, the secretary general of Qatar's Planning Council, Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor bin Jassim Al Thani, said in a statement, cited by The Peninsula, the report focuses on international cooperation in the realm of health, international trade and security and their role in reducing human sufferings and social and economic inequalities prevailing in the world.
In the Arab world, Qatar was ranked third last year. The UN report said the literacy rate among people between the age group of 15 to 24 years had increased to 98 per cent in Qatar, while infant mortality had dropped to just 2.7 per 1,000 children.
According to the report, Qatar does not have any cases of starvation since a majority of the local population were well above the international poverty line.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor said, the UN had fixed 2015 as the year for achieving these goals for 147 developing countries at the 8th UN Millennium Declaration.
In the field of infant health, mortality, which stood at some 8.5 per cent per 1,000 about 15 years ago, dropped to just 2.7 per 1,000. The report also highlighted Qatar's achievements in the field of maternal health with some 99.98 per cent deliveries occurring under medical supervision, in hospitals, as compared to 99.48 per cent in the year 1990.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia ranked 77th, but 44th by GDP per capita which stood at $13,226. Yemen was the worst performer in the Arab world.