United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released Human Development Report 2014－Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience. This post reviews some of the key figures at a glance.
Who is vulnerable?
Despite the fact that vulnerability to shocks exists for everybody to some extent, some people are relatively more vulnerable than others.Vulnerability as a concept is not as simple. The report emphasises structured sources of vulnerability and questions why some cope with shocks better than others. It also pays attention to life cycle vulnerability. Human development is accomplished through capability accumulation over an individual’s lifetime. Capabilities can stagnate and even decline by shocks.
More than 40 developing countries successfully improved human development index over the past two decades. However, the overall rate of progress is slowing across all human development groups. All four groups in the figure have experienced a slowdown in Human Development Index growth. It may imply a shit of human development phase for those successful countries from improving to maintaining human development level.
Vulnerability and Poverty
1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, and 1.5 billion people live in multidimensional poverty. Despite recent progress in poverty reduction, more than 2.2 billion people are either near or living in multidimensional poverty. That means more than 15 percent of the world’s people remain vulnerable to multidimensional poverty. Nearly 80 percent of the global population lack comprehensive social protection. About 12 percent (842 million) suffer from chronic hunger, and nearly half of all workers – more than 1.5 billion – are informal or precarious employment.
Life Cycle Vulnerabilities
When investments in life capabilities occur earlier, future prospects are better. More than one in five children in developing countries lives in absolute income poverty and is vulnerable to malnutrition. In developing countries (where 92 percent of children live) 7 in 100 will not survive beyond age 5, 50 will not have their birth registered, 68 will not receive early childhood education, 17 will never enrol in primary school, 30 will be stunted and 25 will live in poverty. Inadequate food, sanitation facilities and hygiene increase the risk of infections and stunting: Close to 156 million children are stunted, a result of undernutrition and infection. Undernutrition contributes to 35 percent of deaths due to measles, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. The impact is greatest if the deprivation is in early childhood.
Fast track education policies and accelerated economic growth would eliminate the gap in supply and demand for young workers in South Asia and narrow it in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2050.
Social Protection and Universal Basic Social Services
Universalism implies equal access and opportunities to build core capabilities. Several countries started putting in place measures of social insurance when their GDP per capita was lower than that of most countries in South Asia today. Universal provision of basic social services can raise social competences and reduce structural
Developing countries can afford social protection or universal basic services. An initial investment, of just a small percentage of GDP, brings benefits that far outweigh the initial outlay. South Africa’s Child Support Grant, which cost 0.7 percent of GDP in 2008–2009, reduced the child poverty rate from 43 percent to 34 percent. Brazil’s Bolsa Família programme, which cost 0.3 percent of GDP in 2008–2009, accounted for 20–25 percent of the reduction in inequality. 15 Countries enjoying rapid economic progress, such as those in East Asia, have benefited from greater coverage and better health, education and employment investments. And they did so even with limited revenues and resources at their disposal.
Human Development Report 2014 (Full Report)
Human Development Report Technical Notes 2014
Human Development Report Statistical Tables 2014