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UNDP HD Report 2015: Worrisome Future for Liberia, Life Expectancy Rises but Poverty & a ‘Working Poor’ Workforce Riddle Country’s Potential


The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has published the Human Development Report (HDR) for 2015  covering the year 2014 and is not favorable for the West African Nation of Liberia which is compared with two other countries, Central Africa Republic and Guinea Bissau. The report  places Liberia as 175th in rank out of one hundred and eighty-seven countries covered.

The Human Development Report is the Human Development Index (HDI) 187 countries and territories, the Inequality-adjusted HDI  of 145 countries, the Gender Development Index of 148 countries, the Gender Inequality Index of 149 countries and the multidimensional Poverty Index of 91 countries.

The HDR defines HDI  as the “summary measure  for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development including; a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and decent standard of living”.

Liberia’s life expectancy rate at birth increased by 14 years since 1980 when life expectancy was 46 years but the report finds the life expectancy of  female Liberians living 61.5 years while male life expectancy is 59.6 years.

UNDP 2015 HDR report puts the poverty rate in Liberia to 81.86% with vulnerable employment population ration stands at 72% while 94.4% of the country’s workforce  is considered ‘working poor’ as they live on less than $USD 2.00 a day. Foreign Direct Investment to the country is 84.94% of GDP and international trade is 120.81 % couple with a 53.6% of GDP was received in  net official development assistance. Remittances to the country is 23.29% of GDP and Gross National Income (GNI) is $USD752.00 and  83.76% of population live on $USD 1.25 a day, the UNDP’s Human Development report reveals.

Liberia’s External debt stock per GDP is 42.88% and 64.7% of the population participate in the labor fore and the country’s expenditure on education is 1.9% of GDP,  a foul cry from the education expenditure of the 1980s when Liberia allotted 6% of GDP to education – far exceeding the threshold of UNDP’s HDI and the country was spending on education on equal footing and fell the very high rank category of UNDP’s HDI threshold on countries’ expenditure on education.

One astounding notation of 2015 HDR is Liberia’s expenditure on health , with a 19.5% of GDP, the highest health expenditure by any country, closely followed by Sierra Leone, Liberia’s neighbor to the West.

Full details of UNDP’s 2015 HDR country’s  report note and report is below.

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