9 December 2019, Islamabad — UNDP’s Human Development Report (HDR) - “Beyond Income, Beyond Averages, Beyond Today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century” - was launched today in Bogota, Colombia with the presence of Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia, Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, and Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office and Lead Author of the Report. The report talks about the importance of addressing the many different kinds of inequalities in the world today, and measures countries’ progress beyond just economic growth, with the ultimate aim of unlocking people’s full potential.

Today, we can see the next generation of inequalities opening up, particularly around technology, education, and the climate crisis. “This is the new face of inequality,” says UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner. “And as this Human Development Report sets out, inequality is not beyond solutions.” 

The report analyzes inequality in three steps: beyond income, beyond averages, and beyond today. The HDR also hones in on specific regions. According to its findings, the Asia-Pacific region has witnessed the steepest rise globally in human development. At the same time, however, this region is typified by widespread multidimensional poverty, in addition to a whole host of emerging vulnerabilities related to climate change and higher education.

Further, the report states that inequalities exist at all levels of society, starting from the level of the household. As an example, over 22 percent of under-five children in South Asia experience nutritional inequality at home – where one child in the household is malnourished while a sibling is not. The report digs in deeper to country-level data, highlighting that over a third of Pakistani children under the age of five experience such intra-household inequality. The repercussions of this inequality for a child’s prospects of success in the future are grave.

Speaking on the release of the report, Mr. Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative, a.i. of UNDP Pakistan stated, “The HDR shows us that inequality is not ‘natural’ or inevitable. However, governments, civil societies, and ordinary citizens need to work together and translate words into concrete actions to ensure that people all over the world can live their lives to their fullest potential”.

Ultimately, the report shows that the odds are clearly stacked, in a wide range of ways, along gender, ethnic, linguistic, class and sexual orientation lines – to name but a few. This is the same axis along which UNDP Pakistan’s National Human Development Report on Inequality, authored by leading economist Dr. Hafiz Pasha, is based. Set to be released in early 2020, it aims to produce the same depth of analysis generated by the HDR, but within the context of inequality in Pakistan. 

Read the Human Development Report here

For additional information, please contact Ayesha Babar at ayesha.babar@undp.org  or +92 (51) 835 5650

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