The Sunday Mail
The HDI combines achievements in income, health and education and is also a summary measure for assessing long-term problems in three basic dimensions of human development, which are a long and healthy lifestyle, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
To ensure accuracy of results, the HDI is based on international data from the UNDP, UNESCO, the Organisation Institute for Statistics and the World Bank.
According to the 2014 Human Development Report titled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building” published by the UNDP, Zimbabwe saw life expectancy increase by 1,8 years between 2012 and 2013 – almost quadruple the global average growth. Zimbabwe’s life expectancy, the UN says, is now 59,9.
The report was released a fortnight ago.
Chad, the Central African Republic, the DRC and Niger were the lowest-ranked countries, while Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands and United topped the index.
Steepest declines in HDI values were noted in CAR, Libya and Syria, where conflicts contributed to a drop in incomes.
The report says about 72 percent of people in Africa south of the Sahara live in different levels of poverty.
“These groups often do not experience improvements in their standard of living because they have limited political participation, livelihood options and access to basic social services, and even when they do escape poverty, they can relapse rapidly into precariousness when crises hit.”
The report noted that policies to maximise people’s opportunities should pay particular attention to specific periods in life such as investing in early childhood services, youth employment and support for older people.
It also says about 1,2 billion people in the world live on less than US$1,25 per day.