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Human Development Report - Extreme poverty and exclusion amidst progress in Latin America and Caribbean


    Development gaps for women, indigenous peoples, remote dwellers and other groups set to widen unless deep-rooted development barriers, including violence, discrimination and unequal political participation, are tackled.

    Stockholm, 21 March 2017 – A quarter-century of impressive human development gains in Latin America and the Caribbean masks slow and uneven progress for certain disadvantaged groups. A stronger focus on dismantling key barriers to development is urgently needed to ensure sustainable human development for all. These are some key findings of the Human Development Report 2016, entitled ‘Human Development for Everyone’, released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    The report finds that although average human development improved significantly across all regions from 1990 to 2015, one in three people worldwide continue to live in low levels of human development as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). “The world has come a long way in rolling back extreme poverty, in improving access to education, health and sanitation, and in expanding possibilities for women and girls,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, speaking at the launch of the report in Stockholm today. “But those gains are a prelude to the next, possibly tougher challenge, to ensure the benefits of global progress reach everyone.”

    According to the report, the Latin America and Caribbean region enjoys high levels of human development among developing regions, second only to Europe and Central Asia. However, when adjusted for inequality, the region’s HDI drops by almost a quarter due to the unequal distribution of human development gains, particularly income.

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  • it is time to face up to deep-rooted barriers to development

    “By eliminating deep, persistent, discriminatory social norms and laws, and addressing the unequal access to political participation, which have hindered progress for so many, poverty can be eradicated and a peaceful, just, and sustainable development can be achieved for all," Helen Clark said.
    Marginalized groups often have limited opportunities to influence the institutions and policies that determine their lives. Changing this is central to breaking the vicious circle of exclusion and deprivation.


    For example, indigenous peoples account for five percent of the world’s population, but 15 percent of people living in poverty. And members of the LGBTI community cannot actively advocate for their rights when same-sex acts between men are illegal in more than 70 countries.


    The report calls for far greater attention to empowering the most marginalized in society, and recognizes the importance of giving them greater voice in decision-making processes.
    The report also calls for a more refined analysis to inform actions, including making a shift toward assessing progress in such areas as participation and autonomy. Key data, disaggregated for characteristics such as place, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity, is vital to know who is being left behind.


    Moreover, the report warns, key development metrics can overstate progress when they focus on the quantity, rather than the quality, of development. For instance, girls’ enrolment in primary education has increased, but in half of 53 developing countries with data, the majority of adult women who completed four to six years of primary school are illiterate.
  • Latest Human Development Index for CARICOM States ranked from Highest to lowest:

    (source UNDP HDI 2016 report)

    HDI Rank Country
    54  Barbados
    58  Bahamas
    62  Antigua and Barbuda
    65  Trinidad and Tobago
    74  Saint Kitts and Nevis
    79  Grenada
    92  Saint Lucia
    94  Jamaica
    96  Dominica
    97  Suriname
    99  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    103  Belize
    127  Guyana
    163  Haiti

    Table showing HDI indices from 2010 to 2015 for CARICOM states


    HDI Rank
















    58  Bahamas 0.788 0.789 0.79 0.789 0.79 0.792
    62  Antigua and Barbuda 0.782 0.778 0.781 0.782 0.784 0.786
    65  Trinidad and Tobago 0.774 0.772 0.773 0.778 0.779 0.78
    74  Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.741 0.746 0.749 0.756 0.762 0.765
    79  Grenada 0.741 0.744 0.746 0.749 0.751 0.754
    92  Saint Lucia 0.733 0.735 0.734 0.723 0.735 0.735
    94  Jamaica 0.722 0.725 0.727 0.727 0.729 0.73
    96  Dominica 0.722 0.722 0.721 0.724 0.724 0.726
    97  Suriname 0.704 0.708 0.719 0.722 0.723 0.725
    99  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.712 0.713 0.717 0.72 0.72 0.722
    103  Belize 0.7 0.702 0.706 0.705 0.706 0.706
    127  Guyana 0.624 0.63 0.633 0.636 0.638 0.638
    163  Haiti 0.47 0.477 0.483 0.487 0.49 0.493

     HDI Progress for the last 5 years (top 4 countires)


Last modified on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:27
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