With half of UN goals still unmet, Bangladesh looks beyond MDGs
Tribune Desk

Out of the eight MDGs, Bangladesh has achieved the major targets of Goal-1, 3, 4

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Although Bangladesh has achieved some Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there are some other areas including hunger and poverty reduction, employment generation, primary school completion rate and adult literacy rate that need greater attention.

The areas for greater attention also include employment for women, increase in the presence of skilled health professionals at delivery, increase in correct and comprehensive knowledge on HIV/AIDS, increase in forest coverage and ICT penetration, says the “Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Bangladesh Progress Report 2012” released Sunday.

General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission launched the report at a function held in the city, reports UNB.

Planning Minister AK Khandker spoke as the chief guest while Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Food Minister M Abdur Razzaque, State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Motahar Hossain and UN Resident Coordinator Neal Walker also spoke.

GED member of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam presided. He highlighted the features of the report through a power-point presentation.

Out of the eight MDGs, Bangladesh has achieved the major targets of Goal-1, 3, 4 and 6 including the targets of poverty gap ratio, attaining gender parity at primary and secondary levels of education, under-five mortality rate reduction, prevention of malaria, containing HIV infection with access to antiretroviral drugs, children under-five sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets, and detection and cure rate of TB under DOTS.

Out of 60 indicators, 34 have specific targets, against which Bangladesh already met the target in 9 indicators, 11 indicators are on track and expected to be achieved by 2015.

With less than 1,000 days remaining to the terminal year (2015) of MDGs, Bangladesh sent its proposal on Post-2015 Development Agenda to the United Nations on June 6 comprising 11 goals along with 58 targets with corresponding 241 measurable indicators in P2015DA. The implementation period for P2015DA has been proposed for 2016-2030.

Muhith said despite the country’s achievements in development indicators, still there are problems in energy security, in completion rates and standards in education, very serious problem in values as it is important in corruption and governance issues, access to technology, population pressure and degradation of environment.

Noting that there is no shortage of food in Bangladesh, Abdur Razzaque said the big challenge that Bangladesh has to face in the future is malnourishment.

Expressing his disappointment that except for some Scandinavian countries, no developed countries have come up with their commitments for helping the LDCs to meet the MDGs.

Motahar Hossain hoped that by 2015, it would be possible to enroll 95% students in primary terminal examinations.
Neal Walker observed that Bangladesh made remarkable progress towards the MDGs, but this was not the time to be complacent rather to work with full spirit to attain the rest of the targets.

The report states that Bangladesh had made remarkable progress in the areas of poverty reduction, reducing the prevalence of underweight children, increasing enrolment at primary schools, lowering the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate, improving immunisation coverage and reducing the incidence of communicable diseases.

It said the current status of Bangladesh’s development indicates that priority needs to be given to several critical areas such as increasing productive capacity, enhancing access to knowledge and technology, strengthening trade, human and social development, improving governance and institutional capacity, increasing resilience to economic and natural shocks, mitigating climate change impacts and enhancing the volume and quality of resource support.  

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