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UNITED NATIONS, (United States): A United Nations report published Thursday argues that an unprecedented array of crises, chiefly among them Covid-19, has set human progress back five years and fueled a global wave of uncertainty.

The UN Development Program (UNDP) announced that for the first time since it was created over 30 years ago, the Human Development Index — a measure of countries’ life expectancies, education levels, and standards of living — has declined for two years straight, in 2020 and 2021. “It means we die earlier, we are less well educated, our incomes are going down,” UNDP chief Achim Steiner told AFP in an interview.

“Just under three parameters, you can get a sense of why so many people are beginning to feel desperate, frustrated, worried about the future,” he said.

The Human Development Index has steadily risen for decades, but began sliding in 2020 and continued its fall in 2021, erasing the gains of the preceding five years, the paper says. Titled “Uncertain times, unsettled lives,” the report points to the Covid-19 pandemic as a major driver of the global reversion, but also says that a compounding number of crises — political, financial and climate-related — have not allowed time for populations to recover.

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