2014 Human Development Report: 2.2 billion people are poor or near-poor

24 Jul 2014

According to Human Development Index, the Republic of Moldova ranks 114 out of 187 countries and territories

Persistent vulnerability threatens human development and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core message of the 2014 Human Development Report, released today by UNDP’s Administrator Helen Clark and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in Tokyo.  

Entitled Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, the Report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience. It also calls for universal provision of basic social services, and stronger policies for social protection and full employment to advance and secure development progress.

According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, the latest estimates of UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index reveal that almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks occur.

The Republic of Moldova has made progress in reducing vulnerabilities and improving the life of people in recent years. The share of people living under poverty line more than halved in the last 7 years from 30.2% (2006) to 12.7% (2013) and access to education and child mortality have also improved. However, much remains to be done to ensure that progress is both sustainable and equitable. Rural population, women, Roma, people with disabilities, families with many children, elderly and children left behind are among the most vulnerable groups in Moldova.  

 “The challenge of inequality – between men and women, those who have less access to opportunities - remains to be addressed to unlock the full development potential of the country and its people. We will continue supporting Moldova in accelerating development for all through knowledge, expertise and innovative approaches”, said Narine Sahakyan, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, at the launch of the Report in Chisinau.

The national consultations on the Future Moldova Wants showed that many people see high energy and food prices, climate-related threats, emigration and ageing of population as major challenges in the future.

  • 84% of all poor in Moldova reside in rural areas (2013), with the urban-rural divide widening compared to previous years. They are also much more vulnerable in terms of access to education or health services. In addition, pre- and school enrolment rates as well as maternal or child health indicators are much lower in the rural areas (2013 National MDG Progress Report).
  • Women in Moldova comprise 53% of economically inactive population and some of them experience discrimination on the labour market. Every second woman in Moldova has suffered different forms of domestic violence from the age of 15 upwards.  A recent Time Use Survey carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that women in Moldova are performing most of the unpaid that is not “accounted for” and that they spend twice as much men do for child care.
  • The unemployment rate among young people who represent a quarter of Moldova’s population was 9.9% and just 5.6% amongst general population (2012). In the national consultations on the Future Moldova Wants, young people said that what they want is better education, healthy lifestyle and job opportunities in a more tolerant, cohesive and sustainable society.
  • Around 18% of the elderly-led households live below poverty line in Moldova. 34.1% of elderly consider themselves as the most excluded (NHDR 2010/11), while the national consultations on the Future Moldova Wants showed that over 66% of respondents consider that lonely elderly are the worst-off social group in Moldova.  

According to the Report, Moldova’s Human Development Index (HDI) value - a summary indicator of people’s well-being, education and GDP per capita - is 0.663 positioning the country in the medium human development category at 114 out of 187 countries and territories. From Europe and Central Asia, countries which are close to Moldova  in 2013 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which have HDIs ranked 105 and 116 respectively. Between 1995 and 2013, Moldova’s HDI value increased from 0.645 to 0.663, an increase of 2.8 percent or an average annual increase of about 0.12 percent.

Looking at the progresses made by the Republic of Moldova in each of the HDI indicators, between 1980 and 2013 life expectancy at birth increased by 3.9 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.4 years and expected years of schooling decreased by 0.2 years. At the same time, GNI per capita decreased by about 11.7 percent between 1990 and 2013.

Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States remain in the lead for another year, while Sierra Leone, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger continue to round out the list.

Apart from HDI, the Report includes other four indexes - the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII), Gender Development Index (GDI) and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

Looking at the inequality in all three HDI dimensions (IHDI) - health, education and income – when Moldova’s HDI for 2013 of 0.663 is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.582, a loss of 12.2 percent due to inequality in the distribution of the dimension indices. The average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries is 25.6 percent and for Europe and Central Asia it is 13.3 percent.

Gender Inequality Index (GII), which measures disparities in reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity of women, has a value of 0.302, ranking Moldova 51 out of 149 countries in the 2013 index. In Moldova, 19.8 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 93.6 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary or higher level of education compared to 96.6 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 41.0 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 29.3 births per 1000 live births. Female participation in the labour market is 37.0 percent compared to 43.3 for men.

According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which identifies important gaps in health, education and living standards, in Moldova 1.3 percent of the population are multidimensionally poor while an additional 5.2 percent were vulnerable to multiple deprivations (2005 data). The intensity of deprivation –the average percentage of deprivation experienced by people living in multidimensional poverty – in Moldova is 38.8 percent. The country’s MPI value, which is the share of the population that is multi-dimensionally poor adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.005.

ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2014 Human Development Report, plus additional reference materials on its indices and specific regional implications, please visit: http://hdr.undp.org

Contact Information

Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, UNDP Moldova, ludmila.tiganu@undp.org, + 373 22 269 112

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