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‘Socio-economic impact of pandemic on Omani women minimal’

3 May 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the UN Country Team (UNCT) Oman, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sub-Regional Office for GCC Countries, is committed to mobilise and integrate efforts across all humanitarian agencies in Oman in order to work closely with the Government of Oman to scale up responses to the new challenges presented by the pandemic.

It is inevitable that negative socio-economic effects would result from the pandemic. However, its impact would not be as strong in Oman as compared to the region, states a  UNFPA study on the impacts of COVID-19 on women and vulnerable groups in Oman.

‘The impact would not be as strong in Oman as in other countries, given the existing government’s investment in social wellbeing, noting that Oman’s Human and Gender Development Indexes are amongst the highest in the region,’ the study states.

UN officials and academics have suggested that those countries that have advanced the most with regards to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will experience a reduced negative impact in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Oman has been on the global forefront of progress and demonstrated commitment to SDGs, particularly in terms of women empowerment and equality. This places the Omani government in an advantageous position to effectively and efficiently tackle the pandemic’s consequences,’ the study said.

Nonetheless, it is probable that the COVID-19 pandemic will have deep and undesirable consequences on the advancement of SDGs and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to UNFPA Oman, it is very important that all stakeholders have robust and sustainable coordinated efforts and mechanisms to mitigate the potential impact and continue their missions to foster the women empowerment process even through this critical time.

The study also provides insights into better coordination mechanisms among UNCT members under the joint country response plan in the sultanate and better response in cooperation with the government partners.

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