July 25, 2014 - 15:41 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - As successive Human Development Reports (HDRs) have shown, most people in most countries have been doing steadily better in human development, the UN said, presenting its latest report measuring improvements in health and longevity, income and education, and personal security.
Advances in technology, education and incomes hold ever-greater promise for longer, healthier, more secure lives. But there is also a widespread sense of precariousness in the world today—in livelihoods, in personal security, in the environment and in global politics. High achievements on critical aspects of human development, such as health and nutrition, can quickly be undermined by a natural disaster or economic slump. Theft and assault can leave people physically and psychologically impoverished. Corruption and unresponsive state institutions can leave those in need of assistance without recourse, the UN said.
The report ranks Norway at the top of the Human Development Index, followed by Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States. Among Asian countries, Singapore leads at number 9, followed by Hong Kong and South Korea at 15. Despite its lead in longevity, Japan is ranked 17th due to its lower income and schooling measures.
Among the post-soviet states, Armenia ranks 87th. Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan rank 53rd, 57th, 70th and 76th respectively. Georgia is 79th while Ukraine is 83rd.
Sierra Leone, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo and Niger bottom the list.
The report cites exhaustive data to illustrate the costs both within countries and on a global scale of growing inequality, at a time when the 85 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people.