This year's United Nations Human Development Index shows a decline, over the past 15 years, in living standards in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 177 countries surveyed, Eritrea is ranked 161, Ethiopia 170 and drought -stricken Niger is at the bottom. Norway is at the top and the United States ranks 10th. The rankings are based on key indicators such as income, life expectancy and education. On that basis, the report finds 18 of the world's poorest countries are worse off today than was the case 15 years ago, when the first report was published.The coordinator of the report, Cecilia Ugaz, says conflict and HIV/AIDS contribute to extreme poverty and low life expectancy. Ms. Ugaz also says agricultural subsidies in developed country are hurting some of the world's poorest farmers.