Riyadh (UNA-OIC) – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked first across the Arab world and 21st globally in the World Happiness Report 2021, which was issued by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
The report focused on measuring the effects of COVID-19 on the global quality of life and measures happiness index in about 150 countries around the world.
The 2021 report is based on measuring the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on countries, in addition to evaluating the government’s response to the repercussions of the pandemic, whether health, economic or psychological repercussions.
According to the report, there is a relationship between trust in state institutions; how they addressed the pandemic, and the happiness of societies.
Among the fields on which the report focused are measuring the impact of the pandemic on the work environment, social relations quality, individuals’ mental health, confidence in government procedures and the country’s ability to overcome the repercussions of the pandemic. It also measures the unemployment rates due to the pandemic, inequality and the spread of loneliness, as all these factors affect the happiness index.
Saudi Arabia achieved distinguished results in indicators of GDP, social support, average life expectancy, freedom to make life decisions, generosity and confronting corruption.
The Executive Director of the Implementation Support Sector and Acting of Marketing and Communication at the Center of Quality of Life Program, Khaled bin Abdullah Al-Bakr, affirmed that Saudi Arabia’s progress in the World Happiness Report for 2021 comes as a result of the leadership’s interest in the quality of life and the happiness and well-being of citizens and residents, especially in light of the pandemic.
Al-Bakr added that Saudi Arabia exerted exceptional efforts to confront the repercussions of the pandemic. He noted that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman ordered the provision of free COVID-19 treatment and vaccines for all citizens, residents, and violators of residency regulations. Moreover, the government reduced the negative repercussions of the pandemic on the private sector, through numerous support packages and initiatives.
The coronavirus has negatively affected the quality of life in all countries, but Saudi Arabia was able to adapt to the pandemic repercussions and continue to develop and improve the various sectors of quality of life while implementing precautionary measures. For instance, the tourism sector has succeeded in activating its plans and strategies and adapting them to the pandemic, which made a qualitative leap in the sector.
This adaptation also applies to sports, culture, entertainment and other sectors related to the quality of life, in addition to hosting and holding international and local events. The quality of life sectors in Saudi Arabia has continued to work and find alternatives to achieve their goals despite the pandemic, Al-Bakr added.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia’s steady progress in the World Happiness Report over the past years, comes as a confirmation of the success of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy, under the supervision and leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, especially in sectors related to the quality of life, as the Quality of Life Program adopts the World Happiness Report as one of its reference indicators.