United Nations, September 12 (SO News/Agency) According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in 2021, living conditions in 90 percent of the world’s countries have worsened instead of improving. UNDP benchmarks health, education and standard of living in any country for its Human Development Index.
Since the Human Development Index was first collected 32 years ago, it has been the first time that the Index has declined globally for two consecutive years. The latest report from the UNDP says that the decline has also resulted in the loss of “gains made over the past five years”.
Even at the height of the last global recession, which began in 2007, the human development index had not seen such a decline, said UNDP chief Ishim Steiner. According to him, even then only one out of ten countries recorded such a decline.
The latest report says the combined effects of climate change, the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic have created an “uncertainty” that is pushing down global living standards.
“Persistent deprivation and inequality in human development are the greatest obstacles to coping with the complexity of this new uncertainty,” Steiner added, citing the worst global disparity in living standards. “We’re living through very disturbing times, whether it’s a world under water, or a world without water, a world on fire, or a world caught in pandemics.”
According to the latest index of the United Nations, Switzerland is the most developed country in the world. Norway and Iceland are second and third respectively. This time Germany has reached ninth place behind Sweden, Denmark and Ireland, but still ahead of the Netherlands and Finland in Europe.
In 1990, when the first such quality-of-life ranking was launched, the United States took first place. But since then, America has also reached the 21st position. South Sudan is ranked as the least developed country, followed by Chad and Niger. No information is included in the index for North Korea, Somalia, Nauru and Monaco.
However, last year’s index data lists Hong Kong as the most advanced in Asia and ranked fourth regionally. It is considered separate from mainland China, but does not include Taiwan or Macau.
The report also points out that because “data for all countries were not available, readers are urged to exercise caution in making comparisons between countries.”