BD unlikely to meet all MDGs target

08 September 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan

Bangladesh may not achieve as many as 11 indicators out of 45 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within the target year 2015 mainly due to resource constrain.
The indicators which are unlikely to be achieved including ensuring 100 per cent employment, zero dropouts in primary school, 100 per cent adult literacy, 20 per cent of lands covered by forest, 50 per cent share of women in wage employment and improved sanitation facilities for all by 2015, according to a report prepared by General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission.
The report titled 'Bangladesh Progress Report 2013' was unveiled formally on Sunday through a function held at the National Economic Council Conference room in the city.
GED member Prof Dr Shamsul Alam chaired the function and presented the report. GED used to monitor the achievements of the MDGs in Bangladesh and the latest report is seventh of its kind.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal joined the function as chief guest while Finance Minister AMA Muhith, adviser to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs Dr Mashiur Rahman and State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan spoke as guest of honours.
Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin and members of the Planning Commission were present in the programme.
The report, however, said that Bangladesh is on track to meet 10 more indicators under the eight broad 
goals based on the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 2000. "Bangladesh has already met 12 goals with impressive cellular phone subscription. But, there are two indicators, density of telephone and internet, were identified as 'low-users,' said Prof Dr Shamsul Alam. The most indicators under the goals of achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empower women, improving maternal health and ensuring environmental sustainability will face uncertainty in attaining targets by 2015.
Actually, there are 60 indictors of the MDGs but the GED included only 45 in its power point presentation.
Justifying 45 indicators, Prof Dr Shamsul Alam told The New Nation that it had included 45 as they are much conformity with the target year. "There are some indicators to be met in 2020," he added. "The targets will not be fulfilled with only less than 500 days (2015) left despite having remarkable progress in achieving many other targets. Bangladesh will try to incorporate the unachievable targets in the Post-2015 Development Agenda," the report said.
Speaking at the function, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said Bangladesh has done much well than that of the other nations in respect of achieving success in MDGs targets.
He said people of the country are conscious more than any other time and they are marching towards development. "Bangladesh want to make the country hunger free by 20130," he said. The Planning Minister said, Bangladesh did better in many areas of the MDGs, adding that now only 24.5 per cent of people live under the poverty line in the country.
He demanded that the developed nations impose high taxes on companies that emit carbon dioxide (CO2), responsible for climate change. Speaking at the function Finance Minister AMA Muhith said, the achievement of MDGs is satisfactory and the indicators that we are yet to attain will be met by next phase.
"The country has been able to overcome the political instability and it will help the journey of attaining the indicators," he added. Muhith also said that Bangladesh will come out of the list of LDCs within the next three to four years.
Terming poverty a 'curse', he said, "I strongly believe that hunger will be removed from Bangladesh by 2030."
The report said Bangladesh needs $78.2 billion to achieve all the indicators of MDGs (2011-15). The country requires $5.0 billion and $3.0 billion foreign assistances to attain general growth and higher growth annually.  The country has received $1.68 billion Official Development Assistance (ODA), against the required $3.0 billion ODA annually for attaining the higher growth.
According to the report, the poverty rate came down to 26.2 per cent in 2013 from 56.7 percent in the base year of 1990-1991, but the target set in the MDGs is to gain 29 per cent by 2015. The rate of hungry people came down to 16.8 per cent in 2012 from 34.6 percent in 1990. The grim picture of the employment was reflected in the report that said currently the success rate is 59.3 percent against the target of gaining 100 percent by 2015.
According to the report, the high unemployment rate is noticed among the young generation (15-24 years).
The net enrolment ratio in primary education increased to 97.3 per cent in 2013 from 60.5 percent in 1990-1991.
Some 20 per cent of primary students drop out in the country as 80.5 per cent of pupils starting grade-1 reach grade-5 (class-V).
The adult literacy rate of 15+ years old population went up to 58.8 per cent in 2011 from 37.2 percent in the base year. But the target is 100 per cent. The share of women in wage employment was 19.87 per cent in 2010 against target of 50 per cent.
The rate of women MPs in Parliament is 20 percent now, but the target is 33 percent. Bangladesh is on the right track to achieve the targets relating to child mortality rate and maternal health, combating HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases and improving drinking water sources. The rate of under-five child mortality was 44/1000 in 2011, while that of the infant (0-1 year) morality 35/1000. But the targets are 48 percent and 31 percent respectively. Maternal mortality ratio was 194/1000 live births in 2010, but the target is 143/1000 births.
People using improved sanitation facilities were 55.9 per cent in 2013 against the target of 100 per cent.
The land area covered by forest was raised to 13.2 per cent against the target of 20 per cent by 2015.

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