SL enters ‘high human development’ status

Wednesday, 3 April 2013 00:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Cheranka Mendis

Sri Lanka has entered the ‘high human development’ category in the ‘Human Development Report 2013 – The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World,’ published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which was launched in Sri Lanka yesterday.

The report, which encourages Sri Lanka’s development advances, has placed it in the 92nd position out of 187 countries with a Human Development Index (HDI) value of 0.715.

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy however noted that the HDI often masks the inequalities within countries. Inequality in the adjusted HDI shows Sri Lanka ranked 53 with a value of 0.607, while in the gender inequality index the country is ranked 75 with a value of 0.402.

Having entered the high human development countries category in an index that categorises countries into very high, high, medium and low, the current status is a noteworthy accomplishment for the country.“It is the first time Sri Lanka is placed in this category. This is a significant achievement,” Nandy said.

“Sri Lanka’s own human development gains despite the protracted internal conflict are continued with social investments, in particular in the medication and health sector. In the gender inequality index, Sri Lanka is reported relatively lower in the rankings and shows space for significant improvement.”

“Report 2013 acknowledges the positive human gains both in the north and south and notes that it can be upturned if issues of equality and sustainability are not factored in future development planning and programming,” he expressed.

Delivering the keynote address at the launch, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris highlighted the importance of ensuring GDP growth is accompanied by social equity, stating that growth must reflect itself in a tangible improvement in the lives of people.

 “To achieve the targets highlighted in the report, I think it is absolutely necessary to maintain measured State intervention to ensure that all people of the country, particularly the more disadvantaged, can derive benefits from GDP growth,” Peiris said.

He acknowledged that in Sri Lanka there is no gender inequality in any field except in politics and that perhaps pragmatic compliance is required to increase participation. He added it was necessary to ensure the rural population receives infrastructure and other facilities.