COVID-19 to cause first human development fall: UNDP

Agence France-Presse . United Nations | Published at 11:16pm on May 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause a decline in human development for the first time since it started being measured, the United Nations Development Programme said Wednesday.

The UN created the global human development index in 1990 to gauge the world’s education, health and living standards.

It has increased globally every year over the past 30 years, despite crises such as the global financial meltdown of 2007-09.

‘COVID-19 — with its triple hit to health, education, and income — may change this trend,’ UNDP head Achim Steiner said as the body released a study Wednesday. The UNDP estimates in the document that global per capita income is expected to fall four percent in 2020 because of the coronavirus.

It notes that school closures and disparities in distance learning will widen education gaps between rich and poor countries.

The agency said it estimates that 86 per cent of elementary school-age children in poorer nations are not receiving education currently, compared to just 20 per cent in richer ones.