Sri Lanka tops South Asia in Human Development
Lanka has emerged first in South Asia in terms of human development
according to the latest Human Development Report issued by the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Sri Lanka ranks 97th in the world and first in South Asia in the
Human Development Index rankings disclosed on Friday in the Human
Development Report 2011 titled “Sustainability and Equity: A Better
Future for All”.
The closest to Sri Lanka in South Asia was the Maldives which ranked
109. India ranked 134th while Pakistan was 145th. Bangladesh (146),
Nepal (157), Bhutan (141) and Afghanistan (172) were the other South
Asian countries featured in the comprehensive Report. Significantly,
war-torn Afghanistan was only four places lower than lowest-ranked
Norway ranked first in the world while Australia was second and the
Netherlands, third. Among Sri Lanka’s non-SAARC regional neighbours,
Singapore was ranked 26, Malaysia (61), Thailand (103) and UAE (30).
Sri Lanka now belongs to the Medium Human Development range in the
report and with the cutoff point to this category at 95, analysts expect
the country to migrate the next higher category (High Human Development)
in a couple of years. According to the Report, Sri Lanka has recorded
commendable indices across the board, with the Human Development Index
at 0.691. (Norway’s HDI is 0.943).
Among the other indices which enabled Sri Lanka to top South Asia
are: Life expectancy at birth (74.9 years); expected years of schooling
(12.7) and Gross National Income Per Capita (US$ 4,943). Sri Lanka has
recorded an improvement of several places compared to the previous
“Human Development, which is about expanding people’s choices, builds
on shared natural resources. Promoting Human Development requires
addressing sustainability—locally, nationally and globally.
And this can and should be done in ways that are equitable and
empowering,” the Report said.