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Guide to Development Speak


Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)

The name given to those poor countries with large unsustainable debts, the target of initiatives to forgive debt as a means of assisting development. The HIPC Initiative is an IMF/World Bank initiative designed to reduce debts to sustainable levels for poor countries that pursue economic and social policy reforms.

High-income country

A country having a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita equivalent to $9,266 or more in 1999. Most of the 50 high-income countries in the world have an industrialised economy. Their combined population is about 0.9 billion, less than one-sixth of the world’s population.

Human capital

People and their ability to be economically productive. Education, training, and health care can help increase human capital.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

The virus, first identified in 1984, that weakens the immune system and ultimately leads to Aids. Several regions of the world have been hit by high rates of HIV, particularly Southern Africa. The HIV virus is most commonly transmitted by unprotected sexual activity. However in some parts of the world, for example China, it is predominantly caused by contaminated blood transfusions. Drug abuse also causes the spread of HIV through contaminated needles. HIVcan also be passed on from mother to child.

Human Development Index

A yearly assessment produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the progress made by nations in improving living standards.

The Human Development Index assesses a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: longevity (life expectancy), knowledge – measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary enrolment rates - and a decent standard of living using GDP per person. The HDI was created to place people and their capabilities as the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, rather than economic growth.

Human Poverty Index 1 (HPI1)

A Human Poverty Index for developing countries which measures deprivations in the same three aspects used by the Human Development Index (HDI): longevity, knowledge and a decent standard of living.

Deprivations in longevity are measured by the percentage of newborns not expected to survive to age 40; deprivations in knowledge by the percentage of adults who are illiterate; and deprivations in a decent standard of living by the percentage of people not using improved water sources and the percentage of children below the age of five who are underweight.

A Human Poverty Index 2 (HPI-2) also exists which also takes into account social exclusion. This is measured by the rate of long-term (12 months or more) unemployment.

Human rights

The rights people are entitled to simply because they are human beings, irrespective of their citizenship, nationality, race, ethnicity, language, sex, sexuality, or abilities. Human rights have been enshrined under the various human rights treaties, most notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the United Nations General Assembly in1948.

Humanitarian assistance

Programmes conducted to relieve or reduce the results of natural or human induced disasters such as disease or hunger. Humanitarian assistance is provided by governments, agencies or NGOs.

Hybrid seeds

Seeds produced by cross breeding plants or crops of different species.
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