Human Development Report 2014 Makes a Case for Sustaining Human Progress by Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience.

Aug 18, 2014

R -L: RC/RR Daouda Toure, NPC Minister Abubakar Sulaiman, Hajia Rabi Jimeta for Minister of Envr. and Sani Sidi, DG NEMA launching the Report. Photo: Anthony Dioka, UNDP

Nigeria and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa need to intensify their battle against deprivation and prevent crises from setting back recent development advances, according to the global 2014 Human Development Report (HDR), launched here today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  Nigeria's Minister of National Planning  Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, who launched the Report  along with the Minister of Environment and the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Daouda Toure, noted that "the report addressed the issue of human vulnerability and highlighted policies to maximise people's future opportunities. ”
The 2014 HDR, entitled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” shows that between 2000 and 2013, Sub-Saharan Africa had the second highest rate of progress in the Human Development Index (HDI), which combines achievements in income, health and education. In spite of this progress, Sub-Saharan Africa is the most unequal region in the world, according to UNDP’s Coefficient on Human Inequality.

Around 585 million people, the equivalent of 72 percent of the region’s population, are either living in multidimensional poverty – with overlapping deprivations in education, health and living standards – or at risk of falling back into poverty, the Report shows. 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.

Noting that vulnerability can accumulate over the course of a lifetime, the Report asserts that policies to maximize people’s future opportunities should pay particular attention to specific periods in life. For instance, such policies would require investing in early childhood services, youth employment and support for older people. The Report makes the case that preventing shocks and promoting opportunities for all—especially for those most at risk—can effectively help reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience.

Responsive and accountable institutions of governance are critical to overcoming injustice, vulnerability and exclusion that can fuel social discontent, while improving the delivery of services to all populations, the Report adds. While responding to emergencies is critical, building resilience requires sustained, long-term comprehensive efforts over time. The Report calls for better global coordination in shoring up resilience to challenges that are increasingly global in origin and impact.

“One of the reasons we linked the launching of the Report with the MDG summit is to draw attention to the fact that MDG Goal 1 remains fragile as the estimated 800 million people who have moved out of poverty threshold are still vulnerable to shocks that can push them back into abject poverty. We are reminded that 12% (842m) of the world’s population still suffer from chronic hunger with Africa housing a huge number of them. The increasingly interconnected world requires more than ever before that we harness our individual and collective capacity for resilience,” said UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Daouda Toure.

The Report notes that threats such as financial crises, fluctuations in food prices, natural disasters and violent conflict significantly impede progress towards human development growth across all regions, as measured by the HDI.

“Reducing both poverty and people's vulnerability to falling into poverty must be a central objective of the post-2015 agenda,” the Report states. “Eliminating extreme poverty is not just about 'getting to zero'; it is also about staying there.”

"I am confident that this Report provides some useful insights as we, together, move ahead to shape the Post-2015 Agenda and mainstreaming its main objects into the development of the 2nd National Implementation Plan of the Vision 20:2020 in Nigeria”, Toure said.

The Report puts Nigeria’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.504— which is in the low human development category—positioning the country at 152 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 2005 and 2013, Nigeria’s HDI value increased from 0.466 to 0.504, an increase of 8.1 percent or an average annual increase of about 0.98 percent. Nigeria’s 2013 HDI of 0.504 is above the average of 0.493 for countries in the low human development group and above the average of 0.502 for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1980 and 2013, Nigeria’s life expectancy at birth increased by 6.9 years, mean years of schooling increased by 0.2 years and expected years of schooling increased by 2.3 years. Nigeria’s GNI per capita increased by about 25.7 percent between 1980 and 2013.

The launch was a side event at a two-day Presidential Summit on the MDGs being held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.  It was attended by about 200 guests which comprised top government officials, including the Minister of Environment and the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, UN and other development partners, academia, civil society and the media.

ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2014 Human Development Report, plus additional reference materials on its indices and specific regional implications, please visit:  
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