Viet Nam ranks 115th out of 191 countries in 2022 Human Development Index, according to latest report by the UN Development Program (UNDP).
The UNDP said at the launch of the global 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR), “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World” here in Viet Nam.
The country’s HDI value in 2021 was 0.703, unchanged from 2019 (0.704). However, Viet Nam moved two steps forward in the global rankings to 115 (out of 191 countries) from 117 (out of 189 countries) in 2019.
According to UNDP, Viet Nam managed to sustain economic growth during the most difficult years of the pandemic.
Although the average pace of growth remains slow, and vulnerable groups and individuals suffered periods of real hardship, a major reversal of human development progress was avoided.
Viet Nam’s Gender Inequality Index, which measures the loss of human development due to inequality between males and females, continued to improve in 2021.
Viet Nam’s GII was 0.296, giving the country a ranking of 71 out of 170 countries. GII considered reproductive health, empowerment and labor force participation.
Viet Nam performs well in terms of maternal mortality, education of girls and female labor force participation, but representation of women in the parliament remains low.
With regard to PHDI which discounts the HDI for pressures on the planet, Viet Nam is only deducted by 5.8% due to carbon dioxide emissions and material consumption per capita. However, Viet Nam’s small deduction does not mean that we have done well in reducing CO2 emissions, but just that we do not have many industries that emit this gas compared to some other countries.
Regain loss of momentum
“Looking ahead, Viet Nam is well placed to regain the loss of momentum resulting from Covid-19 and manage the uncertainties associated with the cascading crises described in the HDR,” said Professor Jonathan Pincus, UNDP Senior Economist.
The rapid and universal roll-out of vaccines has enabled life to return to normal and reduced pressure on hospitals, clinics and schools. Government policy has been flexible and adaptive, which has made it possible for industries like tourism and transport to post an impressive recovery in 2022, said Professor Jonathan Pincus.
Challenges for Viet Nam
UNDP also noted that there would be many challenges for Viet Nam in the coming time. Climate change is the biggest one. It is anticipated to displace people and their livelihoods, seriously affecting the level of human development in areas that are most vulnerable to climate change.
Secondly, Viet Nam’s economic development depends on growth trends in the rest of the world. War in Europe, rising prices and disruption to global trade patterns are important sources of uncertainty. UNDP recommended Viet Nam increase investment in infrastructure, education, training and research to increase national resilience and capacity to adjust quickly and flexibly to changing global conditions.
Importantly, Viet Nam’s social protection system must be modernized to help all citizens to manage economic and natural disaster risks and sustain living standards even during difficult times.
The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated that gaps have opened up in national social protection and social assistance programs.
Digitalization of social assistance registration and delivery and basing these systems on universal citizenship rather than local residence will enable them to respond more equitably and quickly during times of heightened risk./.