KATHMANDU, Sept 8: The Human Development Index (HDI) declined globally for the past two years due to impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine back-to-back, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports.
The latest Human Development Report, “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World”, launched by UNDP on Thursday, states that the last two years have had a devastating impact for billions of people around the world. “These led to sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes, and massive increases in polarization.”
According to the UNDP report, it was the first time in the past 32 years, the HDI, which measures a nation’s health, education, and standard of living, has declined globally for two years in a row. The reversal is nearly universal as over 90 percent of countries registered a decline in their HDI score in either 2020 or 2021 and more than 40 percent declined in both years, signaling that the crisis is still deepening for many.
While some countries are beginning to get back on their feet, recovery is uneven and partial, further widening inequalities in human development. Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have been hit particularly hard.
The adverse impacts of the crises on human development have even hit the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Human development has fallen back to its 2016 levels, reversing much of the progress towards the SDGs, the UNDP report says.