Pakistan’s poor performance in the areas of education, financial inclusion and political participation led to declining score on Youth Development Index 2016
Pakistan is among the worst countries for young people aged 15 to 29 to live in, according to the latest survey of Youth Development Index (YDI) 2016 compiled by Commonwealth Secretariat.
At a dismal ranking of 154 among 183 countries, Pakistan performed even worse than war-torn and terrorism-plagued Syria which stood at 137. Pakistan even lagged behind its neighbors, India (133) and Bangladesh (147) but performed better than Afghanistan at 167.
The decline has been brought about by a dramatic fall in the country’s scores in the domains of civic participation (58 per cent) and political participation (69 per cent). Pakistan’s lack of a youth policy – which is the primary indicator for the domain of political participation – has driven the fall in its score.
“Young people make-up nearly one third of the total population of Pakistan. If we extend the age range to include children as well, then three out of every five people in Pakistan are below the age of 30, making it one of the most youthful countries in the world”, said Rafiullah Kakar, one of the lead researchers of the report.
Pakistan recorded the largest decline (18%) in its youth development score between 2010 and 2015 among 183 countries covered in the index, Rafiullah Kakar told media.
Only 42% of children in Pakistan are enrolled in secondary schools whereas the South Asia and global score for the same indicator are 68% and 81% respectively, the Report says.
Pakistan’s low score was explained by its performance in the areas of education, financial inclusion and political participation. The country scored below the South Asian average in all domains of the YDI except health and well-being.
A report by the Population Council released on August 19, said the prevalent scenario of standalone policies for youth with minimal integration and poor linkages across sectors does not provide a framework for coordinated efforts.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The index throws down a challenge to policy-makers everywhere: without action to promote young people’s empowerment, boosting opportunities for employment and opening up spaces for political dialogue, countries will be squandering their most precious resource and storing up problems for the future.”
Around 183 countries were covered in the survey and Pakistan recorded the largest decline (18%) in its youth development sector between 2010 and 2015.
Germany topped the list with a score of 0.894, followed by Denmark and Australia. While the United Kingdom secured the fourth spot, United States performed way below at 24, lagging behind countries such as Costa Rica, Malta, Slovenia and Luxembourg.