The Georgian Times
Migration, a fact of life for a large percentage of Georgians, aids the development of not only the migrant but also the communities they migrate to, and provides powerful opportunities for the migrant’s own home community to improve its quality of life, the United Nations Development Programme stated in its annual Human Development Report, or HDR, last week.
Also, the HDR predicted a noteworthy trend that suggests developed countries will be importing working-aged migrants in the coming years as their own population ages beyond retirement; of the 2.8 billion additional people that will populate the world in 2050, 90 percent of them will be from the developing world. This suggestion of opportunity presumes, of course, that the retirement age in places like the EU or the United States won’t advance with the aging of the population, or that the working age won’t drop with improved vocational education programmes in the developed world, but the prospect of a much smaller group of working people trying to support a much larger aged population in potential destination countries does bode well for developing country workers. Migration support, as a component of Georgia’s overall human development policy, could prove to be a timely investment in the future of the country if implemented in the near future.
Many reporters last week took the ranking of countries, based on their UNDP-assigned HDI from 2007, as the most important item of the report. This played down the message that the UNDP had wanted to convey, namely that human development opportunities are not equal in all countries, and that migration has high potential for improving conditions for those countries trying to catch up with the developed world. For what it’s worth, Georgia ranked in 2007 as number 89 out of 182 countries in overall human development, behind Belarus (no. 69), the Russian Federation (no. 71), Kazakhstan (no. 82), Armenia (no. 84), Ukraine (no. 85), and Azerbaijan (no. 86) but ahead of Turkmenistan (no. 100), Moldova (no. 117), Uzbekistan (no. 119), Kyrgyzstan (no. 120), and Tajikistan (no. 127).
By Ben Angel
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