Zambia Climbs up to Medium Human Development Category

25 Jul 2014

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Lusaka, Zambia - Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core premise of the 2014 Human Development Report (HDR) entitled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience”, launched yesterday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tokyo, Japan.

Levels in human development continue to rise – yet the pace has slowed for all regions and progress has been highly uneven, according to the latest Human Development Index (HDI) included in the 2014 HDR., The lower human development groups appear to be improving at a higher rate – grounds for optimism that the gap between higher and lower human development groups is narrowing. Meanwhile, the rankings remain unchanged at both ends of the HDI. Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands and United States remain in the lead for another year, while Sierra Leone, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger continue to rank bottom of the list.

Zambia’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.561, which has qualified her into the medium human development category, positioning the country at 141 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2013, Zambia’s HDI value increased from 0.422 to 0.561, an increase of 32.9 percent. This improvement is mainly attributed to increases in life expectancy at birth, mean and expected years of schooling and the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

Despite overall gains in human development, progress in all regions decelerated over 2008–2013 compared to 2000–2008. In the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific region, and Latin America and the Caribbean, average annual growth rate in HDI dropped by about half when comparing these periods. The steepest declines in HDI values this year occurred in Central African Republic, Libya and Syria, where ongoing conflict contributed to a drop in incomes.

The Report will be launched in Lusaka on Thursday, July 31, 2014.