Inequalities and multidimensional crisis could hinder human development in Moldova, according to UNDP report

March 13, 2024

The Republic of Moldova is ranked 86th out of 193 countries and territories according to the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2022, measuring national progress in health, education, and living standards. Moldova's HDI value of 0.763 places it within the high human development category.

The 2023/24 Human Development Report (HDR), entitled "Breaking the gridlock: reimagining cooperation in a polarized world" and released today by UNDP, highlights that disparate progress in development is deepening inequalities, exacerbating global disparities, and fueling political polarization. While affluent nations report unprecedented levels of human development, many of the world's most impoverished countries have not recovered to their pre-crisis developmental milestones.

Over the past thirty years, Moldova has seen a 10.9 percent increase in its HDI value (from 0.690 to 0.763). Between 1990 and 2022, the national life expectancy at birth increased by 0.6 years (68.6 years in 2022), the expected years of schooling by 4.6 years (14.9 years in 2022), and the mean years of schooling by 2.7 years (11.8 years in 2022). Moldova's gross national income per capita decreased by about 7.8 percent during the same period (12,964 constant PPP$ in 2022).

Existing inequalities are leading to human development losses. Moldova's HDI reduction due to inequality stands at 8.5 percent. Moldova recorded a 0.156 Gender Inequality Index value in 2022, ranking 41st out of 166 countries. In 2022, Moldovan women had an HDI value of 0.776 compared to 0.751 for men, resulting in a Gender Development Index value of 1.033, one of the highest in the Europe and Central Asia region.

“While Moldova has faced significant challenges, including the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, its consistent progress in terms of human development over the past three decades stands as a beacon of hope and resilience. The government and a broad range of development partners, including UNDP, are proactively addressing the current cost of living and energy crises, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to sustaining and building upon the nation's development gains,” said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

Facing a challenging socio-economic, security, and political environment, Moldova is strengthening its resilience and preparedness. The economy recently showed modest signs of recovery, following a 5% decline in 2022. Inflation rates decreased significantly over the past year, and economic forecasts for 2024 predict further growth. Despite these positive trends, the economy's structural shift toward higher-value sectors progresses slowly, highlighting the need for strategic interventions to improve competitiveness and financial services.

To better capture the implications of inequalities on various dimensions of human development in Moldova, UNDP is working with the National Bureau of Statistics on the development of a multidimensional poverty index, to be released in 2024.

The 2023/24 Human Development Report highlights that deglobalization is neither feasible nor realistic in today’s world and that economic interdependence remains high. It points out that no region is close to self-sufficiency, as all rely on imports from other regions of 25 percent or more of at least one major type of goods and services.

The report emphasizes how global interdependence is being reconfigured and calls for a new generation of global public goods. It proposes four areas for immediate action:

  • planetary public goods, for climate stability, as we confront the unprecedented challenges of the Anthropocene;
  • digital global public goods, for greater equity in harnessing new technologies for equitable human development;
  • new and expanded financial mechanisms, including a novel track in international cooperation that complements humanitarian assistance and traditional development aid to low-income countries; and
  • dialling down political polarization through new governance approaches focused on enhancing people's voices in deliberation and tackling misinformation.

In this context, multilateralism plays a fundamental role, the report argues, because bilateral engagements are not able to address the irreducibly planetary nature of the provision of global public goods.

To view the full report, visit