The UN's Human Development Report has recently been published for 2009.
The HDI – Human Development Index – is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: health, knowledge, and a decent standard of living. Health is measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge is measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrolment ratio; and standard of living by GDP per capita (PPP US$).
(as written on their website http://www.hdr.undp.org/en/ )
All of the 182 countries for which the UN has data are ranked in one of three tiers: Very High, High, Medium and Low Human Development.
Some highlights from the list:
21. United Kingdom
159. Togo (Our outreach for 2010)
161. Benin (Our outreach in 2009)
169. Liberia (Up from 180 last time and where the ship spent 3 of the last five years)
180. Sierra Leone
22 out of the 24 countries ranked 'Low Human Development' are in Africa. Every West African country, except Ghana and Nigeria, are in the bottom tier. Plenty of work for Mercy Ships to do.