The latest Human Development Report launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has ranked Ghana 133 out of 191 countries, thus putting the country in the medium human development category.
However, Ghana maintains the same Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2020 and 2021, which stands at 0.632.
Between 1990 and 2021, the country’s HDI value grew from 0.460 to 0.632 reflecting an increase of 37.4 per cent.
The report, titled: “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World,” said though Ghana fell in the medium human development category, when considered for unequal distribution of human development, she recorded a loss of 27.5 per cent in her HDI.
For instance, Ghana’s level of gender inequality remained high and ranked 130 out of 170 countries in 2021 in terms of inequality between female and male achievements.
The HDI measures a nation’s health, education, and standard of living.
A press release issued by the UNDP as part of the launch, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, quoted Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative, as saying: “We cannot achieve development without addressing unequal human progress that leaves many behind.”
“We must all support efforts to remove existing structural, cultural and socioeconomic barriers that block progress for young people, women, people living with disabilities among others.”
“Let us work together to unlock the potential of every Ghanaian to create a sustainable future in the face of uncertainty.”
UNDP’s Pedro Conceição, the Report’s lead author, said to navigate uncertainty, the world must double down on human development and look beyond improving people’s wealth or health.
“These remain important. But we also need to protect the planet and provide people with the tools they need to feel more secure, regain a sense of control over their lives and have hope for the future,” he was quoted as saying.
The report called for policies that focused on investment — from renewable energy to preparedness for pandemics, and insurance – including social protection – to prepare societies for the ups and downs of an uncertain world.
It said innovation in its many forms – technological, economic, cultural – could also build capacities to respond to whatever challenges came next.
On the global level, the UNDP warned that the world was lurching from crisis to crisis, trapped in a cycle of firefighting and unable to tackle the roots of the troubles that confront it.
“Without a sharp change of course, we may be heading towards even more deprivations and injustices.”
It said layers of uncertainty were stacking up and interacting to unsettle life in unprecedented ways.
“The last two years have had a devastating impact for billions of people around the world, when crises like COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine hit back-to-back, and interacted with sweeping social and economic shifts, dangerous planetary changes, and massive increases in polarisation.”
For the first time in the 32 years that UNDP had been calculating the report, the HDI had declined globally for two years in a row.
Human development had fallen back to its 2016 levels, reversing much of the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it said.
“The reversal is nearly universal as over 90% of countries registered a decline in their HDI score in either 2020 or 2021 and more than 40% declined in both years signaling that the crisis is still deepening for many.”
It quoted Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, to have said: “The world is scrambling to respond to back-to-back crises. We have seen with the cost of living and energy crises that, while it is tempting to focus on quick fixes like subsidising fossil fuels, immediate relief tactics are delaying the long-term systemic changes we must make.”
“We are collectively paralysed in making these changes. In a world defined by uncertainty, we need a renewed sense of global solidarity to tackle our interconnected, common challenges.”