Venezuela Regional Leader in Human Development, According to UNDP

Venezuela is a regional leader in human development, according to a new report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


Titled “Rise of the South”, the 2013 UNDP Human Development Report categorizes Venezuela as exhibiting a “high” score on the Human Development Index (HDI), in a context of rapid economic growth in the global south.

Only two South American nations were categorized as “very high” developers: Chile with a score of 0.819, and Argentina with 0.811. 

With a score of 0.792, Uruguay was the only South American nation in the “high” HDI category to fare better than Venezuela.

Venezuela’s score of 0.748 was above other South American states in the “high” HDI category, including Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia.

According to the report, economic growth in the developing world constitutes a “global rebalancing [sic]”.

“The South as a whole is driving global economic growth and societal change for the first time in centuries”.

In a ceremony on Saturday, UNDP representative Niky Fabiancic praised Venezuela’s achievements in poverty alleviation and equality promotion.

“Venezuela when compared to neighboring countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, shows the effort that has been made to achieve a further reduction of inequality and poverty, as well as the achievements in education, health and employment”, AVN reported Fabiancic as stating.

Held at the Catia Theater in Caracas, the ceremony honored former President Hugo Chavez. Recognizing human development as “an issue close to the heart of President Chavez”, Fabiancic presented acting president Nicolas Maduro with a copy of the report.

“[H]e fought all his life… for human progress in a diverse world, including his tireless struggle for the welfare of his people, protecting the poor and promoting the cause of unity of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean”, AVN reported Fabiancic as stating.

The UNDP 2013 report was first released last Thursday in Mexico City, Mexico. According to a press release from the launch, the “[r]eport argues that ambitious, well-conceived policies can sustain this human development progress…”

The report itself states that, “More important than getting prices right, a developmental state must get policy priorities right”.

“They should be people-centered, promoting opportunities while protecting against downside risks”.

Since 1998, the Venezuelan government has undertaken far-reaching poverty alleviation projects, largely encompassed by the Bolivarian missions.

These initiatives range from welfare, to education and land reform. The UNDP isn’t alone in recognizing Venezuela’s human development achievements.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), based in Washington, has documented a drop in poverty by more than half during the Chavez years.

CEPR has also noted a decline in extreme poverty by 72% since Chavez first came to office in 1998.