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poverty-in-indiaISLAMABAD: The Human Development Report (HDR) 2013 The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World was launched Thursday in Islamabad by the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) in Pakistan.

UNDP also released its 2013 Human Development Index (HDI) along with the Report, which ranked countries in terms of economic and human development indicators.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index, an alternative to income-based poverty estimates, shows the proportion of the population living in poverty is high throughout South Asia, with the highest rates in Bangladesh (58 percent), India (54 percent), Pakistan (49 percent) and Nepal (44 percent).

The report is instrumental in the context of Pakistan especially given the challenges faced today and policy choices it will confront.

Pakistan’s HDI value for 2012 is 0.515 - in the low human development category - positioning the country at 146 out of 187 countries and territories. The rank is shared with Bangladesh and is just ahead of Angola and Myanmar.

According to the Report, countries which have made significant achievements in human development could be characterized into “strong, proactive and responsible states”.

Pakistan has one of the lowest investments in terms of education and health – it spends 0.8% of GDP on health and 1.8% on education. The country needs to increase this investment as the report argues that investing in people’s capabilities – through health, education and other public services – is not an appendage of the growth process but an integral part of it.

H.E. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador of the European Union, congratulated UNDP on the launch of the report and said, “The rise of the South should be seen as beneficial for all countries including Pakistan as it presents opportunities for new development partnerships. We need to be committed to human development and make this development sustainable for future generations.”

Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP in Pakistan said, “Rapid human development progress in South Asian nations is helping drive a historic shift in global dynamics. Just as the South needs the North, increasingly, the North needs the South. New institutions can facilitate regional integration and South-South relationships between and among developing countries including Pakistan. Pakistan can therefore learn from different countries on how to enhance the skills and productivity of its people. It should undertake more interventions to reduce poverty, expand infrastructure and improve governance.”

Copyright INP (Independent News Pakistan), 2013

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