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UN Agency Says Poverty Declining; Ranks Human Development

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says in its annual report on human development that although poverty is declining, some 2.2 billion people in the world are still poor or "near-poor."

The UNDP ranks 187 countries based on things such as education, income, people's health and longevity, and personal security.

The countries ranked highest on the human-development index are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The three lowest are the Central African Republic, Congo, and Niger.

Belarus was listed at number 53 on the list, Russia at 57, and Kazakhstan at number 70.

Iran was number 75, followed by Azerbaijan (76), Serbia (77), and Georgia (79).

Other countries of interest were Ukraine (83), Macedonia (84), Bosnia-Herzegovina (86), Armenia (87), China (91), Turkmenistan (103), Moldova (114), Uzbekistan (116), Iraq (120), Kyrgyzstan (125), Tajikistan (133), Pakistan (146), and Afghanistan (169).

Based on reporting by AP, AFP,