The United Nations Development Programme Namibia Country office (UNDP Namibia) launched the 2019 Global Human Development Report (HDR) in Windhoek on 11 December 2019. The report titled “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century”, says that just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing, with an unprecedented number of people escaping poverty, hunger and disease, new inequalities are becoming more pronounced
Presenting the HDR at the launch, the Resident Representative of UNDP Namibia stated that the country continues to be in the medium human development category with an HDI value of 0.645 for 2018, positioning it at 130 out of 189 countries and territories. Namibia’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) estimation (2013) reveals that 38.0 percent of the population (963 000 people) are multidimensionally poor while an additional 20.3 percent are classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (514 000 people)
With a special focus on the 10th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 10): Reduced Inequalities, the launch also included a reflection from the homeless people, who are largely affected by inequality across the country. The chairperson of the homeless people's parliament, Mr. Romanzo Steenkamp stressed that inequality is the most consistent, identified cause of homelessness, but is the least spoken about. He further stated that another cause of homelessness is the unfair distribution of land, and the government not making houses available, despite them hearing of houses that have been demolished.
The launch also had a live panel discussion on inequality is now on with Hon. Obeth Kandjoze Minister of Economic Planning, Ms. Linda Baumann, Human Rights Activist, Mr. Graham Hopwood, Director of IPPR Namibia, Ms. Daisry Mathias, Youth Advisor to the President of Namibia and Ms. Rachel Odede, UNICEF Representative. The panel discussion is facilitated by Mr. Patrick Sam and the panellists dissected the report from different perspectives.
Africa has experienced one of the most significant improvements in human development, according to the latest Human Development Index (HDI). Yet, significant challenges remain. African countries find themselves at a crossroads, facing the dual challenge of ensuring that those furthest behind make progress with the basics, while paving the way for those further ahead to keep pace with the emerging requirements of today’s world
Persistent challenges of gender parity, despite improved gender parity in education, the report notes that African women and girls continue to face deeply entrenched challenges to their human development progress. Namibia has a Gender Inequality Index (GII) value of 0.460, ranking it 108 out of 162 countries in the 2018 index, making it one of the most unequal countries globally. The report recommends policies that go beyond income and are anchored in lifespan interventions starting even before birth. Such human capital investments must continue through a person’s life, from pre-natal care, to education, to the labour market and retirement
More information on the HDR here: http://hdr.undp.org/en/towards-hdr-2019