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Developing Countries Making Gains In Life Expectancy, Education, Other Markers, Human Development Index Says

The U.N. Development Programme on Thursday in Mexico City launched the Human Development Index 2013, which “combines measures of life expectancy, literacy, school enrollment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita,” the U.N. News Centre reports. The report (.pdf), titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World,” “emphasizes the unprecedented growth of developing countries, which is propelling millions out of poverty and reshaping the global system,” the news service notes (3/14).

According to the report, “more than 40 developing countries, including the big four of Brazil, Russia, India and China, have made significant gains in the last decade” in areas such as life expectancy, education and income, Xinhua reports (3/14). However, the report warned that “[t]he number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to three billion by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle environmental challenges,” the Guardian writes, adding, “The 2013 Human Development Report hails better than expected progress on health, wealth and education in dozens of developing countries but says inaction on climate change, deforestation, and air and water pollution could end gains in the world’s poorest countries and communities” (Provost, 3/14).