UNDP launches Human Development Report 2014
United Nations, Praia, 25 July 2014.2.2 billion people are still poor or very close to being considered poor, warns the Human Development Report 2014 on vulnerability and resilience. Human development is threatened by persistent poverty. If this vulnerability is not systematically confronted through social policies and standards, progress will neither be equitable nor sustainable.
This is the main point of the Human Development Report 2014, which was launched in Tokyo on 24 June, by the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, and the Director of the Human Development Report Office, Khalid Malik, under the slogan Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience.
In Cabo Verde the launch of the Report took place today, 25 June, in the conference room of the Government Palace, in the city of Praia. It was presided over by the Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, José Maria Neves. The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Cabo Verde and Representative of the UNDP, Ulrika Richardson, was also present.
"Today more than ever we have to try and understand the sources of vulnerability in order to construct mechanisms that might strengthen the resilience of the Nations and secure lasting progress" declared Ulrika Richardson. "We need to be alert to inequalities, clearly identifying the underlying reasons for unbalanced development."
The 2014 Report brings an innovative perspective to issues of vulnerability and proposes specific policy alternatives for strengthening the resilience of the peoples and Nations in the face of these issues. This discussion comes at a crucial time in which we are approaching the end of 15 years of work around the Millennium Goals and the world is joining forces to develop a new Post-2015 Development Agenda. At the same time, greater global economic and financial integration means that economies are more susceptible to worldwide crises of different kinds and with different causes, and this demands greater coordination between the Nations.
According to the Prime Minister "the subjects tackled in the different Reports have been fundamental, not only for defining the country's development strategy but also for defining short and medium term public policies to make corrections or to strengthen the areas most relevant to the global process of human development". Commenting on the data in the Report, José Maria Neves stressed that "the greatest challenge for Cape Verde has to do with the social inequalities that cost the country almost 20% in terms of its Human Development Index rating. Even so, in comparison with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa we are well above the average, which is 0.502", he added.
In Cabo Verde, the Human Development Index (HDI) rose from 0.635 in 2012 to 0.636 in 2013, principally due to the increased life expectancy at birth. It remained above the averages for Sub-Saharan Africa (0.502) and for the group of countries with medium development (0.614). In 2013, the new development for Cabo Verde was the HDI calculation adjusted for inequality. This represents a cost to development, as the HDI for Cape Verde falls from 0.636 to 0.511 when the cost of inequality, estimated at 19.7%, is deducted.
Using the idea of analysing vulnerabilities over the life cycle, the Report emphasizes that during the life cycle external shocks can take on a more permanent character. In this context, the Report argues for the adoption of universal basic social services in order to increase resilience against shocks. It uses comparative analyses to refute the idea that only developed countries can finance this kind of strategy. The adoption of full employment and structural transformation measures is also discussed, as well as the need for social protection systems as safety nets.
The Human Development Index (HDI) was introduced in the first Human Development Report, in 1990. The HDI used in the 2014 Report covers 187 countries and territories. The HDI figures and classifications given are calculated on the basis of the most recent internationally comparable data on health, education and income.
For more information the Human Development Report 2014 is available at: http://hdr.undp.org/en