The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing global climate change, and cost of living crises add layers of uncertainties and drive reversals in human development in 90% of the countries worldwide.
UNDP Global Human Development report emphasized Investment, Insurance, Innovation
January 24, 2023
We were imagining a long, healthy and prosperous life for baby Belarusians Back in 2019.
Belarus demonstrated a solid progress as it comes to the human development dimensions: life expectancy, length of education and gross national income. Since 1995, the country’s Human Development Index (HDI) value increased by almost 20 %. People expected to live longer by 3.6 years and dedicate more time to education. Belarus’s GNI per capita increased by about 225.7 %. Before COVID-19 and the following complex crises hit the global communities Belarus’ level of human development was steadily increasing. However, Belarus was not an exception and faced the crises along with the rest of the world.
The 2022 Human Development Report recognizes Belarus as a country with a very high human development and ranks it 60th from the list of 191 countries and territories. However, Belarus is among 90% of countries that experienced decline in human development in the past two years. Life expectancy decreased affecting men disproportionately and the average number of years in education for people aged 25 and older also declined. Zooming out - now the world’s average human development is back to where it was in early 2016 – just when we started our journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Global recovery is uneven and partial with further widening of inequalities and increasing in planetary pressure. The recovery efforts should go hand-in-hand with socially, economically and environmentally sustainable policies and development strategies.
Belarus performs well under HDI adjusted for planetary pressures. With the Gini Index at 24.4 in 2020, Belarus belongs to the group of countries with a low degree of income inequality. UNDP’s “inequality-adjusted” HDI considers variability in education and life expectancy. Belarus loses only 5.3% of its human development due to inequalities, which looks well among other countries in the region.
Low inequality and low human pressure on the planet allows Belarus to take the advantage in the process of recovery. UNDP works with Belarus on three policy areas outlined in the 2022 Human Development Report, to ensure that people have capabilities to harness the potential embedded in uncertain times:
- Investment in capabilities will help to enable socioeconomic and planetary conditions for human development.
- Insurance mechanisms guarantee protection in case of shocks and emergencies and help people to regain the sense of control over their lives.
- Innovation helps people to embrace change, look for new solutions through creativity and learning.
Through investment, insurance and innovations, UNDP supports Belarus in working across digital development, ecosystems’ management, jobs and livelihood protection, smart urban development, building inclusive society, strengthening social protection and health systems. Cross-sectorial approach allows to look beyond short-term solutions and double down on human development in line with Belarus’ National Sustainable Development Strategy until 2035.
In the following articles, we will continue elaborating on our work with broad-based partners to leverage investment, insurance and innovations for human development in Belarus.