COVID-19 and Human Development: Assessing the Crisis, Envisioning the Recovery

Global human development -- which can be measured as a combination of the world's education, health and living standards -- could decline this year for the first time since the concept was introduced in 1990, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warned. Declines in fundamental areas of human development are being felt across most countries - rich and poor - in every region. COVID-19’s global death toll has exceeded 300,000 people, while the global per capita income this year is expected to fall by four per cent. With school closures, UNDP estimates of the “effective out-of-school rate”—the percentage of primary school-age children, adjusted to reflect those without Internet access—indicate that 60 per cent of children are not getting an education, leading to global levels not seen since the 1980s. The combined impact of these shocks could signify the largest reversal in human development on record.