Human development declining in 90% of countries worldwide – UN


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Living conditions in 90 percent of countries in the world became worse in 2021, according to the Human Development Index released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday.

The index, which measures a nation’s health, education, and standard of living, has declined globally for two years in a row for the first time since it was first calculated 32 years ago.

Even at the height of the financial crisis about ten years ago, the index declined in only about one in ten countries, according to UNDP chief Achim Steiner.

“We can describe our conditions in form of statistics forever. The hard question we have to face is: Why is it that we do not act?’’ Steiner said.

Switzerland comes in as the most highly developed country in the world with a value of 0.962 according to the ranking, and nearly ties with Norway and Iceland.

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In the first report in 1990, the United States came out on top but has now slipped to 21st place.

At the very bottom of the ranking are Niger, Chad, and South Sudan.

“We are living through very distressing times, whether it is a world underwater, a world with no water, a world on fire, or a world in the midst of the pandemic,’’ Steiner said.

Steiner however, noted that there are opportunities for progress, such as through new computer technologies, science, and new types of grain.

For example in Kenya, 90 percent of electricity needs can now be met by renewable energy thanks to extensive kick-start investments.

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