Myanmar has achieved a new status as a medium-ranked member of the human development index (HDI), according to a 2016 report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week.
Myanmar was placed at 145 out of 188 countries, with an HDI of 0.556.
The index was developed in 1990 to measure how a country is performing based on three important aspects; education, life expectancy and income.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Myanmar Renata Lok-Dessallien told reporters in a press conference on March 22 that it would take time for Myanmar to achieve higher rank in HDI index.
“The legacy of Myanmar’s under-investment in social sectors will take time to overcome and extra efforts are required for this,” she said.
She also urged the government to do more to accelerate human development, which would also drive the achievement of sustainable development goals set for 2030.
“We cannot forget that there remains a gap between Myanmar’s HDI score and the average for Southeast Asian countries. For example, in areas such as maternal health and under-five mortality, Myanmar is still performing below the average of Southeast Asia,” she said.
Myanmar achieved an HDI score of 0.552 in 2014 and 0.556 in 2015. The average score for East Asia Pacific is 0.720.
As with the report’s figure, the average annual growth of HDI score has increased for the years 2000-2010 (2.12), but has decreased substantially in 2010-2015.