Is it progress or not?

The Human Development Reports [Annual reports prepared by the United Nations] for 2009 are out. Last year, Sierra Leone was 179th out of 179 countries on the Human Development Index i.e. the poorest country in the world. The HDI ranks all countries, with statistics, according to a compound measure combining Gross Income per capita, school enrolment rates and average life expectancy.

Norway is 1st on the index, the United States rank 13th and the United Kingdom is 21st. This year, Sierra Leone no longer ranks as poorest of the poor. It is 180th out of 182. Does this represent progress or not?
Amnesty International is currently undertaking an investigation and exposé on maternal and infant mortality in the country. Any attempts at exposing the realities are rejected with vicious attacks in the local press. Corruption holds the whole country to ransom and it is hard to see where the progress might be, if there is any. The Anti Corruption Commission has an enormous task at hand.

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