UNDP Resident Representative, Jocelyn Mason urges Somalia to tackle challenges so as to keep pace with the developed world

UNDP Resident Representative, Jocelyn Mason has urged Somalia to get to grips it challenges so that it is not left behind while the developed world speeds ahead.

Mason made the comments after UNDP launched its latest Human Development Report – one of the world’s most highly regarded assessments of the state of global development – which this year focusses on inequality and how to address it.

Mason said among the measures Somalia must take will be to address inequalities within the country so that all citizens – including women, IDPs, the rural poor and other marginalised groups – can realise their full potential and contribute to national progress.

Inequality in Somalia can be seen in the difference between Somali and global averages in health, education, income and other areas. For example:

Life expectancy at birth is 57.1 in Somalia, compared to 72.6 worldwide
52% of Somalis have access to basic drinking water, compared to a global average of 90%.

Maternal mortality ratio is 732 per 100,000 live births, compared to 216 globally
It can also be seen between different groups within Somalia, including men and women, rural and urban populations, and the richest and poorest. For example:

45% of women are married by the age of 18 and 98% suffer female genital mutilation (FGM)
Women make up only 17.5% of the non-agricultural workforce and occupy only 24% of seats in parliament
83% of Somalis in urban areas can access basic drinking water, compared to 28% in rural areas.

93% of the richest quintile can access basic drinking water, compared to 32% of the poorest quintile.

Only 9% of people in rural areas have access to electricity, compared to a national average of 33%.