Friday, November 19, 2010

JCTR urges attention to worsening human development

JCTR urges attention to worsening human development
By Maluba Jere
Fri 19 Nov. 2010, 04:00 CAT

JCTR has urged the government to res-pond to the worsening human development in the country. And Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections (JCTR) has noted that despite the overall level of inflation going down as reported by the Central Statistical Office, prices of commodities typically consumed by average Zambians have increased.

In a statement yesterday, JCTR stated that the 2010 Human Development Report entitled 'The wealth of nations: pathways to human development' revealed that Zambia’s human development situation had deteriorated since 1970.

“According to the report, of the 135 countries in their sample for 1970 to 2010, only three countries, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe have a lower Human Development Index today than in 1970,” stated JCTR’s social conditions coordinator Miniva Chibuye.

“The results therefore mean that Zambia is among the only three countries where people are worse off than they were in 1970 in terms of health, education and levels of income.”

Chibuye explained that according to the report, one of the major contributing factors for Zambia had been the worsening health situation as measured by life expectancy, which is now at 47.3 years.

She said Zambia needed to look beyond meeting the MDG target on primary education if it was to make significant progress towards human development. Chibuye noted that the situation of worsening human development was exacerbated by the high cost of living.

And JCTR has stated that the cost of food alone in October, which includes mealie-meal, vegetables, beans, dry fish, among others increased by K27,150 to K895,000 in comparison with K867,850 recorded in September 2010.
She explained that the Basic Needs Basket (BNB) survey for a family of six in October 2010 was K2, 877,830.

She further advised the government not to be complacent with meeting the Millennium Development Goal on primary education but instead focus on enabling more pupils to complete secondary school and enter tertiary education.

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