Pakistan would miserably fail to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)targeted for 2015. This was stated by the participants of the Provincial Conference on “Current Status of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Pakistan” organized by Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) under its AAWAZ Program.
Out of 48, Pakistan is obligated to achieve 33 indicators related to the eradication of poverty, gender disparity and HIV, improving child and maternal health, and access to primary education by 2015. The Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme, jointly reported that Pakistan has achieved three targets and is on right track for seven more. Nevertheless, for the remaining 23 indicators, the country is certainly off the track.
The panelists stressed that urgent measures are needed to improve the state of health and education in country. The speakers opined that government has to demonstrate its seriousness towards the MDGs.
Naseer Memon, the Chief Executive of SPO said that Pakistan is likely to miss the vital targets of MDGs. He lamented that “Skyrocketing inflation, persistent economic stagnation, tumbling foreign investment and a series of natural disaster could actually have pushed a large number people below poverty line. He suspected the government’s claims for decline in the incidence of poverty and stressed for genuine political will. He condemned the historical attitude of power echelons who prefer the border security over human security, despite scant economic resources of the country.
Ms. Raana Maliksaid,“Pakistani authorities are quick in signing international protocols and commitments, such as MDGs, but always drag their heels on compliance”
Salman Abid, Regional Head of SPO, asserted that Pakistan needs more efforts, and special budgetary allocations for the attainment of MDG goals. Institutional limitations and lack of commitment are among the other factors behind the poor performance on MDGs.
Dr. Najma Afzal added that child and mother mortality rates are declining due to the relentless effort and commitment of the Government of Punjab to reach at the doorstep of every woman and child.
Dr. Islam Siddiqui, DPI- Education Department, JamilNajamalso shared their views on the status of MDGs in Punjab.