Human Development Report National launch – Maseru, 12th April 2024

April 24, 2024

UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Jacqueline Olweya handing over the Human Development Report to Ms. Malefu Khanyapa, Director of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has launched the 2023/2024 Human Development Report released on 13th  March 2024 at the global level, titled "Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a Polarized World".

The report indicates a stark disparity in progress, with rich countries achieving record-high levels of human development while half of the world's poorest nations are regressing, exacerbating global inequality. This uneven development, coupled with rising political polarization and distrust, is creating a dangerous gridlock that demands immediate collective action. The HDR provides a platform for inspecting developmental progress in education, health, and other sectors within a country.

Speaking at the HDR national launch, Dr. Jacqueline Olweya, the Resident Representative of UNDP Lesotho, expressed concern over the serious challenge of data gaps hindering a clear picture of the Country's development in other sectors." The data on environmental issues and food print for Lesotho is notably lacking in the report compared to other countries. This data gap will create a significant disparity in our presentation. To address this, it's crucial for us as a country to work together to fill this gap and provide the necessary data. This will ensure that in the future, we have a true and objective comparison of where we stand as a country compared to others in the sub-region and globally. " Dr. Olweya said.

Dr. Olweya also commended Lesotho's progress in human development since 1990, citing improvements in life expectancy and education indicators. However, she highlighted persisting challenges in areas such as maternal mortality and gender inequality, emphasizing the need for continued efforts towards sustainable development.

Director Malefu Khanyapa, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, indicated that the government has introduced policies and programmes, in line with the HDR, that have positively impacted the livelihoods of the Basotho people. She further cited that the government’s mission is to ensure an improvement in Lesotho’s Human Development Index. “Lesotho is committed to ensuring gender equality, social inclusion, equal and meaningful participation of women, children, youth, and marginalized communities. This is another principle we have maintained in our development policy and programme implementation to ensure human urgency and development. Improving Lesotho’s Human Development Index from the current 0.52 to 2.6 by 2026/7 remains one of our biggest concerns”. 

After a presentation on the 2023/2024 Human Development Report findings, recommendations and human development indicators trends in Lesotho done by the UNDP Senior Economic Advisor, Dr. Souleman Boukar, The launch provided various stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss on key issues related to the report.

Launched in 1990, the HDR enables the UNDP to play a catalytic role in helping the International Community develop appropriate responses to major emerging issues related to human development. In this regard, the HDR aims to generate debate on important development issues and, if necessary, raise awareness and alert leaders to potential threats if appropriate measures are not taken.