Pakistan continued its dismal performance in the field of human development as it failed to improve its position on the Human Development Index (HDI) over the past five years.
According to the 2014 Human Development Report “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” published on Thursday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan remained among the group countries with low human development as it remained on same position as of last year, showing little sign of improvement.
Pakistan, which was ranked at 146 out of a total 187 countries on the index, scored 0.537 points on HDI, showed improvement of mere 0.002 points from last year’s score of 0.535.
The country showed some improvement in life expectancy at birth as it improved by 0.9 in 2013 to 66.6 from 65.7 in 2012.
On the gender inequality index, Pakistan slipped four spots to 127 from last year’s ranking of 123 as it scored 0.563 on the index as opposed to 0.567.
But Pakistan was part of a dismal overall human development situation in South Asia. While Bangladesh and India both showed some signs of improvement, the likes of Afghanistan worse off.
Bangladesh, which was last year at par with Pakistan on 146, has moved to 142 this year. India, which was on 136 last year, has moved one rank up to 135. Nepal is ranked at 145 while Afghanistan at 169.
The report added that 52 per cent of Pakistanis live in poverty. The HDI’s Multidimensional Poverty Index — an alternative to income-based poverty estimates — shows that the proportion of population living under the multidimensional poverty in Pakistan has increased by almost three per cent in one year.
Meanwhile, people living under multidimensional poverty rate in neighbouring Bangladesh and India has reduced to 47.8 and 51.1 per cent from last year’s count of 57.8 and 53.7 respectively.