By Aramata Jatta
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaborations with National Partners has on Monday launched Human Development Report examining inequalities in human development in the 21st century at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI).
The human development report is UNDP flagship which was first produce in 1990 and since then the trend continues. The HDR uses an approach that focuses on enriching people, opportunity and choices beyond enriching economies where people live in.
This report explores inequalities in human development by going beyond income, beyond averages and beyond today. It asks what forms of inequalities matter and what drives them, it also asks what policies can tackle those drives policies that can simultaneously help nations to grow their economy, improve human development and reduce inequality.
Ms. Aissata De, UNDP Resident Representative in the Gambia describe the ‘’ beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century as very pertinent and timely.
‘’ sets out that while there has been marked improvement in human development more people are living longer, they are more educated , they have greater economic opportunities-systemic inequalities are deeply damaging our society and it analyses why’’.
She alluded that the Gambia is no exception and has been immune to the plague of inequality in its development trajectory. Ms. De revealed that the last integrated household survey found that 69.5 percent of the rural population lives in poverty compared to 31.2 in the urban population.
According this survey, rural poverty increased while urban poverty increased over the past five years as the poverty headcount is 10.8 percent in Banjul 72.2 percent in kuntaur which is not sustainable if the Gambia is to achieve its development in the National Development Plane.
‘’the equal distribution of development will be critical to ensure that societies and groups remain in harmony with each other, and see themselves reflected in the sustainable development courses that is charted for the country . The establishment of a more resilient society, where people are safe from chronic threats such as abject poverty, hunger disease and violence while also ensuring protection from sudden and harmful disruption in daily lives.
This Aissata argued should include all people regardless of race, tribe, colour, creed or religion saying they deserve to live their lives with decency and dignity.
Ms. Saraphine Wakana , United Nations Resident Coordinator asserted that income and wealth are the key component of assessing inequalities as the report emphasize that understanding income and wealth disparities requires examining other forms of inequality in health, education , dignity and respect for human rights that contribute to income and wealth inequalities.
‘’ disadvantages are created even before birth and as clearly articulated in the report inequalities start before birth as parent’s income and circumstances affect their children’s health, education and income’’.
By Aramata Jatta