17 oct. 2008

Venezuela Ranks among the Countries with Higher Human Development Index

Venezuela ranks among the 70 countries with higher Human Development Index (HDI) in the world, as a result of the social inclusion policies developed the Bolivarian Government in the last years, states a report of the Ministry of People’s Power for Planning and Development, released last weekend in Caracas.

In 1998, Venezuela’s HDI ranked 0.7456, nine years later, in 2007, it reached 0.8263.

The Human Development Index is a measure formulated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), applied in each country and defined by the three following parameters:

• Life expectancy at birth, as an index of population health and longevity.
• Knowledge and education, as measured by the adult literacy rate (with two-thirds weighting) and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio (with one-third weighting).
• Standard of living, as measured by the natural logarithm of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) in United States dollars.

How does HDI arise?

HDI arose as a standard means of ranking the countries with other economic indicators out of the traditionally known (Gross Domestic Product (GDP), trade balance, energy consumption, unemployment, etc.) and other areas such as military spending.

This index, developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), measures variables with a mixed index with indicators that are related in the three basic dimensions.

The concept of development refers to the process of widening the options of persons, giving them greater opportunities for education, health care, income, employment, etc.

Promoting HDI in Venezuela

The inclusion policies of the Bolivarian Government and their results have increased Venezuela’s HDI.

The Ministry of People’s Power for Planning and Development, for instance, informs that during 1998 and 2007 more than 2 million Venezuelans overcame poverty. In 1998 20.3 percent lived in poverty; nine years later, this figure was reduced to 9.5 percent.

Unemployment was also reduced by 9 percent between 1999 and 2008, from 16.6% to 7.1%. In addition, 2,124,208 new jobs were created.

Furthermore, between 1998 and 2008 the number of pensioners was increased by 218.4 percent from 387,007 to 1,232,043.

The Bolivarian Government has shown its social interest in increasing social spending, since it has give priority to public expenditure. In 1998 social expenditure reached 47.9 percent, while in 2007 it reached 59.5 percent.

Mission Food (represented by Mercal and PDVAL) “guarantees acces to fodd to over 13 million Venezuelans,” while 4,055,135 children benefit from a free school food program. In 1999 only 251,285 children had access to similar programs.

Moreover, 3.4 million Venezuelans have graduated from different educative missions implemented by the government.

Mission Barrio Adentro has performed more than 300 million consultations in 4,469 medical centers that were not available before the Bolivarian Government came to power.

Barrio Adentro I saved more than 104,000 lives until last September, and Barrio Adentro II has carried out “more than 415 million medical actions” (consultations, emergency cares, exams, among others).

The Bolivarian Government has also increased access to drinking water for 6.5 million people. In 2001 the country achieved the UN millennium goal for 2015. In 2007, 92 percent of the population had access to drinking water and soon 100 percent of the people will have full access.

Other reason adding to the Venezuela’s HDI increase is that the Venezuelan economy has grown for 19 consecutives quarters at an average of 11.2 percent.

Bolivarian News Agency (ABN)