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Human development report 2014

Sustaining human progress: reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience

image of Human development report 2014
Over the last decades, most countries have improved levels of human development. But progress maybe slowing as uncertainty intensifies globally. This report examines vulnerabilities that endanger human development, focusing especially on the poorest. Most threats are structural and persistent and linked with life cycle vulnerabilities. Identifying policy measures to reduce threats and increase human resilience is therefore a high priority. The report sets out synergistic proposals including universal public provisioning of basic services over the life cycle to maintain and strengthen human capabilities, full employment and social protection policies. It highlights collective action and international cooperation to address global vulnerabilities and ensure sustainable progress.

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Overview

As successive Human Development Reports have shown, most people in most countries have been doing steadily better in human development. Advances in technology, education and incomes hold ever-greater promise for longer, healthier, more secure lives.1 Globalization has on balance produced major human development gains, especially in many countries of the South. But there is also a widespread sense of precariousness in the world today—in livelihoods, in personal security, in the environment and in global politics.2 High achievements on critical aspects of human development, such as health and nutrition, can quickly be undermined by a natural disaster or economic slump. Theft and assault can leave people physically and psychologically impoverished. Corruption and unresponsive state institutions can leave those in need of assistance without recourse. Political threats, community tensions, violent conflict, neglect of public health, environmental damages, crime and discrimination all add to individual and community vulnerability.

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