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Voluntary National Review 2018

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Bahrain’s decades-long development trajectory accelerated with the comprehensive development plan of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the launch of "Economic Vision 2030" - underpinned by the principles of sustainability, competitiveness and fairness - which aims to double the income Bahraini households - in real terms - by 2030.
The Government, under the leadership of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister, and with the support of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, First Deputy Prime Minister, are focused on achieving economic diversification and sustainable and comprehensive development. This led to the successful delivery of the Millennium Development Goals, and setting the foundation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Percentage of the population living in extreme poverty is zero

  • Average economic growth in the past decade stands at 32% and average GDP per capita is USD 22,000.  

  • Basic education isfree and compulsory. Net enrollment ratio for primary and secondary levels is 100% and 86.4% respectively, thus eliminating illiteracy. While KG2 enrollments is 82%.

  • Healthcare is free and universal.   Maternal mortality and that of children under five dropped to 28.6 deaths per 100,000 live births and 9 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively, compared with 226 deaths per 100,000 live births and 44 deaths per 1,000 live births worldwide.

  • The Constitution guarantees gender equality. There are two committees instituted by the Supreme Council for Women to ensure equal opportunities and gender‐responsive budgeting.    Women hold 55% of the supervisory positions, with 53% and 33% participation in the public and private sector respectively.  

  • The private sector is a key development partner. It provides equal high paying employment opportunities contributing to lowering total unemployment to 4%.

  • 65% of the population benefited from public housing services with five new sustainable cities being developed.

  • The coverage of safe water, sanitation and clean energy networks reached100%.

  • The Labor Fund (Tamkeen) provides vastsupport to SMEs. More than 47,000 SMEs and 120,000 individuals including women, youth, and persons with disabilities benefited from its financial and training support.

No One Left Behind 

The Constitution of Bahrain and public policies guarantee universal access to basic services. Public and civil society‐led programs provide support to abused women, persons with disabilities, and those in need. Such programs also extend to migrant workers to safeguard their rights, provide health insurance and shelter, protect against arbitrary dismissal, and combat human trafficking. The new flexible work program eliminates the sponsorship scheme to allows workers to work freely.

Regional Integration and International Contributions

Bahrain is a GCC member state. Its regional integration is vital for its security and stability.
Bahrain provides humanitarian assistance to mitigate the impact of disasters, and more than 600,000 permanent jobsfor expatriates. Their remittances amounted to BD 927 million (US $ 2.5 billion) in 2017 and contribute to the development of their countries and reducing poverty

SDGs Implementation  

The SDGs are implemented through the Government Plan of Action (GPA) and in collaboration with the private sector and civil society. The current GPA’s six strategic pillars are aligned with the SDGs, with 78% of the SDG objectives included in the current program. This alignment will continue in future plans.  

VNR Preparation  

The National Information Committee (NIC), chaired by HE the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, monitors and aligns SDG objectives and indicators with GPA, and evaluates corresponding programs and policies. The NIC’stechnical team, and in coordination with the Executive Committee, is preparing the VNR by collecting information and analyzing sectoral and national data. The outputs of the VNR consultations were also considered in the report.

Development Challenges

As a small island developing state, Bahrain faces these challenges:

  • Mitigating climate change impact on water, agricultural, biodiversity, and coastal resources, and health. Requires a transfer and adaptation of appropriate green technologies, funding, national capacity‐building and raising community awareness.

  • Sustaining a prosperous economy attractive to businesses and investment that provides rewarding jobs for citizens.

  • Strengthening the role of evidence‐based statistics and policy making to increase transparency and improve the public service and SDG delivery. 

  • Addressing extremism, terrorism, and conflicts to maintain unity and preserve national gains.

Bahrain reaffirms its commitment to SDGs to ensure the well‐being of its citizens and the sustainability of resources for future generations.

Focal point
Dr. Nabil BenShams
Deputy CE for statistics and Civil Registry
Information and E Government Authority

Maha Abdulla Sabt
Information and E Government Authority

Documents & Reports

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Bahrain is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.