Millennium Development Goals

In this twenty first century, one of the most widely discussed topics throughout the world is Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In September 2000, meeting at the United Nations Millennium Summit, the world leaders agreed to a remarkable document, the Millennium Declaration. The Declaration demanded that the world set its sights higher and aim for eight specific goals, most of which were to be achieved by 2015. What subsequently came to be known as the MDGs are – 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. 2. Achieve universal primary education. 3. Promote gender equality and empower woman. 4.
Reduce child mortality. 5. Improve maternal health. 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases. 7. Ensure environmental sustainability. 8. Develop a global partnership for development. MDG and Bangladesh: Bangladesh is signatory of the MDGs and it has made noteworthy progress in the attainment of MDGs. Notwithstanding the relatively slow income growth and modest pace of income poverty reduction, Bangladesh’s achievements in the broad area of human development were faster and in some respects remarkable. Although the level of social deprivations is still high, the pace of improvements has been encouraging.
We are happy that our efforts in reducing child mortality in Bangladesh have been duly acknowledged by the United Nations at 65th General Assembly session 20-22 September 2010. The world body has presented Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and through her the people of Bangladesh This recognition of Bangladesh’s sincere efforts in trying to reach the MDGs set for 2015, while clearly encouraging for us, is also a reminder for us of what we must yet to do in order to tackle the remaining sense of the eight MDGs. Our success in reducing child mortality must now be followed by proactive efforts towards achieving the seven other MDG targets. As the

Prime Minister pointed out in New York, Bangladesh will need $ 22. 1 billion if it has to attain all the MDGs. Status of MDGs in Bangladesh: Goal-1: Bangladesh is well on track to achieving goal-1 with poverty coming down to 40% in 2005. The poverty gap ratio has also decreased dramatically to 9. 0. Goal-2: While a significant 87% has been achieved in terms of primary school enrollment,dropout rates remain high & therefore primary school completion rate low. Goal-3: Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in primary and secondary education together with being on track with respect to percentage of women employed in agriculture sector.
Goal-4: The country is on track with regard to achieving this goal. Significant strides have been made and if the trend sustains, the country will meet the 2015 target well ahead of schedule. Goal-5: The maternal mortality ratio is on track but the percentage of skilled birth attendants is low. Goal-6:Bangladesh has made some progress in the spread of malaria and other diseases. Goal-7: While significant progress has been made in terms of access to safe drinking water and sanitary latrines in urban areas, the same remains a challenge in rural areas.
Also maintaining wet-lands and bio-diversity is still a challenge. Goal-8: Penetration of telephone lines and internet, particularly cell-phone usage, has increased to a great extent but youth employment rate is still low. Overall, goal-3 has been already achieved. There is more than 50% progress in attaining goal-2. In case of other goals, attainment is possible if necessary changes are made in policy and strategies. Conclusion: Bangladesh had adverse initial conditions at the start of its journey three decades ago.
With one of the most vulnerable economies of the world characterized by extremely high population density, low resource base, high incidence of natural disasters and extremely adverse initial circumstances associated with the inheritance of a war-ravaged economy, the implications for long-term savings, investments and growth were deemed extremely bleak. Bangladesh which was once termed the test case of development may indeed represent a learning site for keeping the hopes alive for other equally less fortunate post-colonial societies with adverse initial conditions.

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