National Launch of the 2024 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report in Sri Lanka

2024 Report Calls for New Directions to Address Rising Inequality, Climate Change, and Economic Headwinds

December 12, 2023
Ms Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka officially hands over a copy of the Regional Human Development Report

Ms Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka officially hands over a copy of the Regional Human Development Report

12 December 2023, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The narrative of human development in Asia and the Pacific has been one marked by advancement, inequality, and unforeseen challenges. Against this backdrop, the launch of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s 2024 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report in November, represents a crucial step in revitalizing human development amidst a complex landscape of growth.
Nationally, the UNDP 2024 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, titled ‘Making Our Future: New Directions for Human Development in Asia and the Pacific’ was launched today, under the umbrella of the flagship Colombo Development Dialogues. This report serves as a robust foundation, offering in-depth insights to comprehend the hurdles faced by marginalised communities and supporting policymakers in crafting precise and impactful strategies.

Utilizing the most current data, evidence, and analytical perspectives, the Regional Human Development Report (Regional HDR) offers an extensive and finely detailed evaluation of human development in Asia and the Pacific. Emphasizing a proactive outlook, it urges the region to not only learn from prior achievements and established frameworks but also to surpass traditional methodologies in order to steer human development in this dynamic era. This necessitates reevaluating approaches, a more seamless integration of human development and growth, and a heightened dedication to translating strategies into actionable results.

Commenting on the report, Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to the Prime Minister in his message noted that, “As we prioritize rebuilding as a country, we also need to lay out the safety nets in the form of social protection for the most vulnerable and people who have been severely impacted by the crisis. UNDP has provided us through the Multi-dimensional Vulnerability Index and now the Regional Human Development Report evidence that can contribute to an equation that will assist us in getting the formula right to plan accordingly to ensure no one is left behind as we rebuild from the ruins of the economic crisis.”

The Report marks the commencement of a dialogue aimed at delving into the hurdles and prospects encountered as Sri Lanka drives towards economic rejuvenation. This event convened key stakeholders, spanning government officials, experts, private sector representatives, civil society organizations, and international partners, fostering an inclusive platform to assess present obstacles, exchange successful methodologies, and cultivate a collective discourse. The gathering aimed to pave the way for a holistic and cooperative strategy, addressing the evolving challenges and issues impacting both the country and the wider region.

Highlighting the importance of the report, Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka said, “The newly released 2024 Regional Human Development Report for Asia and the Pacific, which includes Sri Lanka, serves as a guide to rethink development strategies. UNDP Sri Lanka proposes a framework based on policy levers and initiatives that build on our collective strengths, drawing from past experiences to chart a course towards high-quality development aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

This report comes in light of the launch of the Policy Report titled ‘Understanding Multidimensional Vulnerabilities: Impact on People of Sri Lanka’ which put forward Sri Lanka’s first-ever Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI). It demonstrates the overlapping challenges faced by Sri Lanka's population, weaving together a novel set of indicators to capture vulnerabilities beyond traditional income-based measures.

Together, the MVI and Regional HDR, stand not only as representations of challenges and aspirations but as an urgent call to action to policymakers and influencers, for an inclusive, resilient, and prosperous future. The insights from the Regional HDR must be transformed into impactful initiatives, laying the foundation for a resilient tomorrow for Sri Lanka and the broader region.

To access the report: