After overcoming the covid-19 crisis, the Dominican Republic maintains its category “high” in the Human Development Index (HDI) that measures the situation of health, education and living conditions; ranking number 80 in the world ranking that includes 191 countries, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The country climbed two positions in relation to 2020, reaching a value of 0.767 in this index despite the challenges of the pandemic in 2021. However, when analyzing the level of inequality, the Dominican economy lost 19.4% in the adjusted HDI , detailed the organization in its report “Uncertain times, unstable lives: Shaping our future in a world in transformation 2021-2022”.
The UNDP maintains that the country has reached a position in a framework where “for the first time in 32 years, human development has regressed to 2016 levels, reversing much of the progress made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Likewise, the study ensures that the setback is “practically universal”, since more than 90% of the countries register a deterioration in their HDI levels in 2020 or in 2021, and more than 40% in both years, a “demonstration that the crisis continues to worsen” in many economies.
“The world is desperately trying to respond to successive crises. With the inflation and energy crises we have seen that, while it is tempting to adopt short-term measures, such as subsidies to fossil fuels, such responses are delaying the long-term systemic changes that must be adopted”, warns Achim Steiner, administrator of the UNDP.
“We are paralyzed collectively to make these changes. In a world defined by uncertainty, we need to renew our sense of solidarity if we are to address these interconnected and common challenges,” Steiner said.
The report examines why the necessary changes in society are not taking place and offers the reasons, discusses the interconnection between insecurity and polarization. In addition, it reveals new calculations showing that people with a higher sense of insecurity are more likely to fall into political extremism.
“Today a third of the world’s population feels stressed and less than a third trusts others, which is a major obstacle to adopting constructive policies for people and the planet,” observed Achim Steiner.
To chart this new course, the Report recommends applying policies aimed at promoting investment —from renewable energies to preparing for pandemics— and insurance —such as social protection— to prepare societies for the contingencies of an uncertain world. At the same time, innovation in its multiple variants —technological, economic, cultural— can also develop capacities to respond to the challenges that arise in the future.
The UNDP argues that some countries are beginning to recover lost ground in 2022, but the recovery is partial and uneven, which “further widens the gaps in human development” at the global level. As an example, he exposes Latin America and the Caribbean, which understands that it is a slow process, since it was one of the most affected by the pandemic, with 9% of the world population and reported 33% of deaths from covid-19. 19 worldwide at the end of 2021. It was also the region with the strongest economic contraction with 7% in 2020, says the multilateral institution.