DRC Ranked Last on the UN Human Development Report

Nov 03, 2011, 15:45 ET from Free Fair DRC

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The UN's Tuesday release of its annual Human Development Report placed the Democratic Republic of Congo dead last among 187 countries, underscoring the fragility of this resource-rich nation and the significance of the upcoming elections there, where violence will likely ensue if they aren't conducted with fairness and integrity.

The DRC, bucking the general trend of improvement in recent years for its Sub-Saharan peers, is losing ground when it comes to national achievement in health, education and income, the basic indication of a country's health, as measured by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  While troubled nations such as Burundi, Mozambique and Niger have posted modest quality of life gains in recent surveys, the DRC continues to lag.

Though the UN cautions against directly comparing a country's rankings to prior years, the Democratic Republic of Congo has slipped under the current presidential administration from 167th of 177 countries to last place in 2011.  A trend report released with the rankings shows the DRC's raw annual score has dropped in recent years, even as the ratings of several peer countries has risen.

The UN's findings comport with those of other highly regarded indices, such as Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, which also reflects a downward spiral in recent years. This is true despite the fact that the DRC is estimated to have more than $20 trillion in natural resources at its disposal.

To view the full UN list as well as a chart showing historical trends, please visit:

In notes about its index, the UNDP pointed to a legacy of warfare in the DRC as a cause of its low ranking, noting the DRC has logged more than three million war-related deaths in recent years and continues to host the largest peacekeeping operation in UN history. The UN in recent commentary, has expressed concern about the conduct of the DRC's Nov. 28 national elections, decried the sporadic election-related violence that has already broken out there and warned that unfair elections could send this deeply troubled nation into a spiral of violence.

Free Fair DRC shares the UN's concern. It has joined a coalition that includes dozens of global non-profits that seeks to shine a spotlight on the upcoming DRC elections and press governments, particularly in North America and Europe, to pay more attention to November's historic vote.

For more information about Free Fair DRC and who we are, and for detailed information on the DRC, its people and the upcoming election, please visit FreeFairDRC.com

For more information, please contact Christopher Cooper, 202.384.8925 or christopher.cooper@potomacsquaregroup.com