Pakistan has been lagging behind in eleven indicators — especially related to education, health and environment — out of the total 34 for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) till 2015, ‘The News’ has learnt.
A meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani recently approved midterm review of the Medium-Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2008-2010.
The midterm review of the MTDF indicates that many targets set under health-related goals may not be achieved till 2015, especially targets for maternal and child mortality. “In fact latest data indicates some regression in the former targets,” the midterm review of the MTDF reveals.
The document emphasised on the need for midcourse corrections and plan of action to be in place for achieving the set goals. For midcourse correction, the document states that the MTDF targets for health indicators are to be revisited. More realistic target settings will enable the policy makers to assess the challenge for the remaining five years set for their achievement.
“If this is not feasible, some prioritisation among goals would help in more focused approaches to allocation of resources as well as economies of scale in implementation and governance capacities,” it added.
Out of total 34 indicators for achieving MDGs, the midterm review states that Pakistan is ahead on 07 indicators — on track related to 16 indicators and lagging behind on 11 indicators.
There are three indicators related to eradication of extreme poverty and hunger on which Pakistan is ahead on one indicator and is on track related to two indicators.
Under aegis of the UN, Pakistan has agreed to reduce poverty by a half and taking steps to improve social sector provisions for achieving the MDGs.
The midterm review of the MTDF states that Pakistan does not lag behind indicators related to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Out of three indicators related to achieve universal primary education, Pakistan is ahead on one indicator. The universal primary education is the only indicator in which Pakistan is not on track on any of envisaged targets.
To bring incidence of poverty in line with the MTDF targets mid course correction and brief action plan required during the remaining period. “In case the needed changes in the implementation of poverty reduction strategy is carried out, the MDGs targets of reducing poverty to the level of 21 per cent population living below the poverty line by 2010 and 13 per cent by 2015 would very likely to achieve,” it further states.
There are two indicators related to universal primary education on which Islamabad is lagging behind.
Out of four indicators related to promote gender equality & women empowerment, Pakistan is ahead on one indicator and is on track related to three other indicators.
Against the envisaged six indicators for reducing child mortality, Pakistan is ahead on one indicator, on track on three indicators and lagging behind on two indicators.
For improving maternal health related five indicators, Islamabad is ahead on none of the indicator, on track related to one indicator and lagging behind on remaining four indicators.
Regarding combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other disease envisaged 5 indicators; Pakistan is ahead on one indicator and is on track related to four other indicators. None of the indicators related to AIDS, Pakistan is lagging behind.
There are eight indicators for ensuring environmental sustainability out of which Pakistan is ahead on two indicators, on track related to three indicators and lagging behind on three indicators.
On recommended action plan for achieving the MDGs by 2015, the mid review of MTDF says that in devising action plan to mitigate the impact of rising inflation and slower growth on poverty, one needs to be aware that its upward climb is quick and unanticipated while its control is slow, in absence of nation wide social security and safety nets program.
“Sustained and above six per cent pro-poor growth with low food inflation for the remaining period of the MTDF is the best insurance for the 40 per cent vulnerable group to prevent them from slipping into deeper poverty line,” it states.
The coverage and scope of Food Support Programmes, conditional and unconditional cash transfers through Baitul Maal and Zakat system needs to be further enhanced to improve the targeting of existing vulnerable groups, the midterm review concluded.
Source: The News, 6/6/2008