United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the flagship 2016 global human development report under the theme: “Human development for everyone” which has ranked Malawi 170 out of the 188 countries in the world a clear indication that more work needs to be done.
According to the report, more Malawians continue to live in acute poverty as only 56.1 per cent of the population being multidimensionality poor while 27.2 per cent live near multidimensional poverty.
Furthermore a larger population of the country is believed to have challenges in accessing education as well as improved health services.
Apart from that, the report further notes that the gap between the rich and poor continue to widen up with the rural population being the most marginalized in all aspects of development.
Speaking during the presentation of the index report held in Lilongwe at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) Wednesday, United Nations Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo explained that Malawi has succeeded in developing the country in a number of areas.
She cited the fight against HIV/AIDS and the country’s life expectancy from less than 50 years in 2005 to over 63 years in 2015 which indicates an increase of 46.4 per cent Malawi’s progress on human development between 1990 and 2015.
“There has been a significant improvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS and country’s life expectancy on which the country should be proud of, this achievement signifies some good work in health care,” Resident Coordinator said.
Mia said Malawi must put more effort in improving education in rural area highlighting that teacher-pupil ratio needs to be reduced to improve education standards in the country.
“Malawi should invest more in education and rural sectors,” she said.
She said Malawi is facing a stiff pressure on land, financial resources, energy and environment due to the population boom.
The UN Resident Representative pointed out that this could be avoided if the population as well as resources made available to this country could be well and properly managed.
“The human development index report is good measurement trend for proper planning. What it therefore mean is that, Malawi as country need to minimize its expenditures while at the same time use the resources in special areas where required,” Seppo explained.
Minister of Finance, Economic, Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said Malawi is not the worst in human development compared to its neighbouring countries which is a great improvement to the country.
He pleaded to Malawians not to lose hope and to work with determination by not relying on a third party.
“In human development we are much better than our neighbours, which is satisfying to Malawians, and we should not lose hope that we cannot achieve,” he said.
Gondwe concluded by saying it is possible to achieve if Malawians make decisions their own and use the little they have to develop the country.
The Finance Minister was quick to comment that within a period of 50 years, Malawi has done tremendously well despite the numerous calamities the country faced.
“We had a good number of challenges some being withdraw of donor aid. But suffice to say that, that has helped us to grow and mature since we are now managing our recurrent expenditures with our locally generated resources.
“The only support we need now is for developmental projects,” said Gondwe appealing to Malawi’s to work hard.
The 2016 Human Development report should trigger discussion how Malawi could bridge the social and economic gaps by various groups.
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