The report titled “Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income” highlights the need to rethink the methods for ranking development in the Region’s countries that go beyond per capita income, economic growth rates and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
A statement from the UNDP said the report calls for governments and the Private Sector to rethink the Region’s progress along multidimensional lines, inspired by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The inspiration for this report comes from the strong demands of Caribbean leaders for more comprehensive metrics for assessing development, and for a more nuanced examination of the meaning of ‘graduation,’ recognising that income per capita does not reflect the vulnerabilities, development needs and challenges of middle income countries,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the launch of the report.
The report also highlights the fact that Caribbean countries high debt hinders the ability to access finance for sustainable development, limiting the region’s ability to achieve the SDGs. In view of the development financing context in the Caribbean, the report demonstrates how, for the most part, Caribbean countries are ineligible for concessional finance due to their status as middle-income countries.
With average national per capita income levels above the international financial eligibility benchmark, the report makes a case for a review of eligibility criteria to access concessional financing. It underscores the extreme economic and environmental vulnerabilities in Caribbean countries that – like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – make the Region’s countries special cases for development.
“The challenges of sustainable, holistic and universal development do not end at a certain income threshold: we don’t ‘graduate’ from development challenges unless we can respond accordingly to the multiple dimensions that enable people to live the lives they consider valuable, ” UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean Director Jessica Faieta said.
In line with the SDGs, the report stresses that on the one hand it is crucial to invest in people, environment, sustainable and affordable energy, institutional efficiency, stability and security as these are key factors to boost economic growth. On the other hand, it is essential to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, empowers people, leaves no one behind, and is not achieved at the expense of the environment.
The report focuses on several groups and their “vulnerabilities”, which accumulate over a life cycle hindering people’s capacity to fulfil their potential and also to leave poverty behind, the report stresses.
It said women are disadvantaged in the labour market, with lower paying jobs than men. Although they head nearly half of the Caribbean households, the participation of women in senior managerial jobs is still limited to about 25 per cent in the Region, with the exceptions of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados,” the report stated.
HDR said while education can be a potential protective factor against women´s disadvantages in the labour market, women are still earning less than men and are proportionally holding fewer decision-making positions in the Public and Private Sectors.
The report stresses that violence against women is a key challenge for the Caribbean, not only threatening lives but also negatively impacting all of society. Physical, sexual, psychological violence or a combination of them affect between 20 and 35 per cent of women in the Region.
The report stated that the Region’s youth are also a critical group in vulnerability, with unemployment among this group ranging between 18 and 47 per cent, except in Trinidad and Tobago where it is 10 per cent.
For young women, it stated that teenage pregnancy can hinder the possibilities of studying, working – and leaving poverty behind. It added that young men, especially in poor communities, are both the main victims and the main perpetrators of crime in the Region.
Source: Guyana Times