The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight objectives that respond to the world’s main development challenges, which are to be achieved by 2015. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration, which was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of states and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.
The eight MDGs break down into 18 quantifiable targets that are measured by 48 indicators.
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Full list of goals, targets and indicators is available here.
A special initiative of the United Nations, the MDG Monitor, shows how countries are progressing in their efforts to achieve the MDGs. With the 2015 target date fast approaching, it is more important than ever to understand where successes are being achieved and where additional efforts and support are needed, both globally and at the country level.
Progress towards MDGs in Kyrgyzstan
The Kyrgyz Republic has shown clear progress in achieving the MDGs. Target benchmarks for some of the indicators for MDG 1, MDG 7, and MDG 8 have been reached. But we cannot yet speak of sustainable tendencies. The unstable situation in global markets and the lack of sustainability in the development of some sectors of Kyrgyzstan’s economy jeopardize the progress that has been achieved. Serious concerns exist primarily with respect to achieving the goals in the health sector (MDG 4, MDG 5, MDG 6).
Kyrgyzstan has achieved a steady growth of 5.1 percent per annum in recent years (2003-2008), but poverty remains widespread as more than a 31.7 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and the government remains challenged in delivering basic services, particularly in rural areas. Wide disparities and income inequalities all challenge the country’s progress, with poverty highly concentrated in the country’s rural areas. In 2009, 37.1 percent of the rural population lived in poverty, compared to 21.9 percent in cities, with the incidence of extreme poverty is also much higher outside Kyrgyzstan’s cities – 3.3 percent compared to 2.7 percent in urban areas. One bright spot however has been early gains made in reducing the incidence of extreme poverty, as 3.1 percent of the population lived in extreme poverty in 2009 – already under the national target of 12.9 percent.
The government can claim some successes related to the environment -as the country has reached it targets for greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions. In 2007, 90.4 percent of the population had access to potable water. This is already above the target of 90 percent by 2015. Although these quantitative indicators portray a positive picture, in terms of quality, the access to water is still a challenge. Most targets related to the environment are viewed as being achievable, however this is possible only in case the current dynamics improve and additional efforts are undertaken. Only 23.5% of the population had access to adequate sewerage in 2008, due to considerable underinvestment in the rehabilitation of sewerage systems. There is a clear tendency of forest aging in Kyrgyzstan, which is far ahead the tendency of restoration. And while land covered by forests and protected areas has been increasing, it’s been at a rate lower than needed to achieve the national target.
It sees progress also with its global development partnerships and MDG 8, as Kyrgyzstan enjoys extensive support from the international community in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance for development.
But other parts of the MDG agenda have proven difficult. Progress has been slow in reducing malnutrition among children and adults, although success in meeting the goals by 2015 is thought likely. And according to recent data, targets in maternal and infant and mortality, gender and universal education are viewed as not achievable.
The country’s literacy rates among youth are high – 99.8 percent but resources for the education sector are seen as insufficient for sustaining the necessary improvements needed to meet the 100 percent target of all boys and girls completing basic secondary education. Furthermore, the quality of education at all levels has been declining, due to inability of the system to ensure adequate teacher training, to retain qualified staff, and to modernize management of educational institutions.
Health-related MDGs are considered to be the most difficult for Kyrgyzstan. Infant and child mortality have been declining, but at a rate slower than needed, and there has been a worrisome increase in the number deaths of newborns due to lack of medical assistance and the low quality of care (25 cases per thousand). Maternal mortality rates, at 63.5 cases per 100,000 life births in 2009, are quite high.
Likewise none of the indicators of MDG 6 aimed at combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are likely to be achieved, with the number of detected cases of HIV steadily rising – from 484 in 2003 to 2,363 in 2009. The incidence of tuberculosis at of over 103.9 cases per 100,000 is at epidemic level, blamed on critical health conditions in the penitentiary system, poor nutrition and living conditions. The target of 52 cases in 2015 is unlikely to be achieved. Brucellosis has appeared in Kyrgyzstan as a considerable threat due to low awareness among the population. The target of reduction of the cases of brucellosis to 12.8 in 2015 does not look realistic.
In the area of gender, women make 42.2 percent of public servants. Gradual decline of the number of women at the decision making level is observed for the past five years. As of March 2011, there is only one female member of the Cabinet of Ministers. Despite the gender quotas in the Election Code, the number of women in Parliament has also decreased compared with the previous Parliament from 29 to 23 percent. There are two women among five deputy speakers. Women consists 25 percent among Heads of Parliament Committees. The goal of income equality is also viewed as unachievable, with men occupying higher-paid managerial and specialist positions while women concentrate on lower-paid occupations in education, health and social services.
The Kyrgyz Republic has demonstrated a serious commitment to achieving the MDGs. This commitment is manifested in the decision made in 2009 to establish the Coordinating Committee for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Committee adopted a 2009-2010 action plan for achieving the MDGs in the republic, which includes measures for achieving current objectives. Another important aspect of increased national interest in the achievement of the MDGs in Kyrgyzstan was the attention of the Parliament to the issue of maternal and child mortality rates.
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