By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Human Development Report 2014 was today launched by the United Nations Development Population (UNDP). The report seeks to assist Governments around the world with its decision making process in a number of key areas.
UNDP’s Resident Representative, Chisa Mikami during her presentation said Guyana’s “Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2013 is 0.638 which is a medium category and positions the country at 121 out of the 187 countries and territories”.
Additionally, between 1980 and 2013, Guyana’s HDI value has increased by 23.6 percent and shares this rank with Vietnam.
The report also reveals that overall inequality has declined slightly in most regions which have been driven by improvements in the health sector; however, high disparities in education persist.
Meanwhile, the report’s poverty index shows that “some 1.5 billion in 91 developing countries surveyed are still multidimensional poor and close to 800 million are at risk to falling into poverty if setbacks occur”.
Mikami believes that “an account of progress in human development is incomplete without exploring and assessing vulnerability….Human development involves removing the barriers that hold people back in their freedom to act, it is a enabling the disadvantaged and excluded to realize their rights, to express their concerns openly, to be heard and to become active agents in shaping their destiny”.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh admitted that there are challenges in the country’s human development, however, significant progress has been achieved.
Dr. Singh believes that often times “we are harsh on ourselves as Guyanese and we say that why Barbados is so much better off than we are and I would be the first to say that we need to work harder to be in a much better place than we are”.
This he said is merely because of a fluctuation of growth of countries in the region. However, Guyana started to play catch up and has been growing more rapidly.
“Guyana’s HDI actually improved on average .87 percent which is a stronger performance than many countries whose economies are much stronger than ours are much more affluent than ours.”
He also noted that the report provides important snap shots on the way forward to improve human development and cater more to the needs of the vulnerable in society. He highlighted that Guyana is on track to achieve all its MDG’s however, the one that relates to maternal health is somewhat under threat.
However, work is being done in this regard to accelerate achievement of that MDG. The report highlights some of the key policies, principles and measures that are needed to build resilience to reinforce choices and expand human agency to promote social competences.