UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan is ranked at 146 – the same spot as in the previous year – among the 187 countries in UN’s 2013 Human Development Index (HDI)’s annual rankings that is worked out by combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income.
The HDI forms part of the Human Development Report (HDR) 2014, a flagship study produced annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was released in Tokyo on Thursday
The report, entitled: “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing vulnerabilities and Building Resilience” is 23rd in a series which began in 1990. The first UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) was prepared and launched under the leadership of the late Dr. Mahbubul Haq, a former Pakistan finance minister.
The HDR especially notes that over 200 million people are affected by natural disasters and 45 million, the largest number in 18 years, were displaced by conflicts at the end of 2012. These factors contributed to denting the improvement in human development.
In other South Asian countries, India ranked 135, one step up from last year, Bangladesh rose four steps to 142, while Sri Lanka ranked 73, a big rise from last year’s 92, Maldives: 103, up one step, while Nepal rose to 145 from 157. Bhutan finished 140, up four steps.
Oil-rich Norway was the country with the best quality of life and is ranked number 1 on the 2013 HDI, as it did last year. Australia and Switzerland followed at the top of the standings.
Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Chad and Mozambique are at the bottom of the annual ranking.
Netherlands, United States, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and Denmark are placed among the top 10 countries in the 2013 HDI.
With nearly a third of humanity poor or vulnerable to poverty, governments need to put a higher priority on creating jobs and providing basic social services, the United Nations Development Program said in the report.
It warned that improvements in longevity, education and income, which are the three main components of the UNDP’s influential index of human development, are slowing due to worsening inequality and economic disruptions, to droughts and other natural disasters and to poor government policies. But the agency also said the solutions are not complicated.
“As this report says, it’s not rocket science,” UNDP head Helen Clark said before the report’s release.
“Where people do address these things, development can come along very, very nicely. Where they haven’t addressed a lot of vulnerabilities and development deficits, as in Syria, it all comes spectacularly unstuck.”
“Eradicating poverty is not just about “getting to zero,” Clark said, “but about staying there.”
Most people in most countries are doing better than ever before thanks to advances in education, technology and incomes, the report said. But it notes a “widespread sense of precariousness in the world today in livelihoods, the environment, personal security and politics.”
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