The aim of development is to increase people’s options and improve their quality of life. Meeting human development goals is a long and complex progress that requires regular monitoring to understanding the impacts of programs and learn from successes and failure in the development trajectory.
Issues such as food security, HIV/AIDS, inequality and the impacts of climate change and disasters can hinder or even reverse efforts made at the national and international level to improve the livelihoods of the people in development countries. The most impoverished are the most vulnerable to external hazards - this segment of the population often exist on the most marginal land, in rural settings or in crowded conditions - and are the least able to react or recover when impacted by a hazard such as conflict or famine. Women and children are more at risk than other segments of the population.
Due to their economic position, most impoverished people usually live in conditions with poor sanitation and limited or no access to clean water, thus further increasing their vulnerability. These combined multiple factors are often referred to as the cycle of poverty: numerous factors, such as malnutrition, illness and poor living conditions, that when combined, make it difficult for people to break out of the conditions of poverty to improve their level of well-being and create a more positive livelihood.
The indicators outlined below give some insight into the states of the Orange-Senqu River basin concerning different aspects of human development. The relevant statistics are presented as follows: