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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Shoaib1
Full Name: Shoaib Habib Memon
User since: 15/Nov/2012
No Of voices: 14
 
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Can We Achieve Millennium Development Goals till 2015

BY SHOAIB HABIB MEMON 

The Millennium Development Goals are our promise to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. They have succeeded in placing people at the centre of the development agenda.

At the global level, poverty and hunger have been reduced significantly. In developing regions, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell by more than half, from 47 per cent in 1990 to 22 per cent in 2010, with the majority living in rural areas. Much of this progress, however, has been made in a few large countries, primarily China and India. Moreover, even if the poverty target has been met, 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty. For example, despite recent strong economic growth and declining poverty rates in sub-Saharan Africa,the number of people living in poverty is rising, and the region is still vulnerable to shocks that can rapidly erode gains.

 

 

 

The target of halving the percentage of people suffering from hunger by 2015 is within reach. The proportion of undernourished people in developing regions fell from 23.2 per cent in the period from 1990 to 1992 to 14.9 per cent in 2010-2012.

 

However, one in eight people remain chronically undernourished, and one in four children suffers from stunted growth because of malnutrition.

 

We risk failing to keep our promise to enable all children to go to school. The number of children out of primary school declined from 102 million to 57 million between 2000 and 2011. But progress has slowed significantly over the past five years. Without renewed efforts, the target of universal primary education by 2015 seems beyond reach, particularly in conflict-affected countries. Half the world’s out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa, with the gap largest for children and adolescents from the poorest households. Much stronger efforts are needed to improve the quality of education and  provide lifelong learning opportunities,especially for girls and women, those belonging to ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and children living in conflict-affected areas, rural areas or urban slums.

 

 

 

Women and girls are major drivers of development. Yet challenges to

achieving gender equality and women’s rights remain significant. In many

developing countries, girls are denied their right to primary education. Women have been gaining employment in non-agricultural sectors, but often in less secure jobs with fewer social benefits than those held by men. In both the public and private spheres, women continue to be denied opportunities to influence decisions that affect their lives. Gender-based violence contravenes women’s and girls’ rights, undermines development and is an affront to our common humanity.

 

 

Despite significant progress globally and in many countries, a renewed commitment is needed to improve the health and life prospects of mothers and children. The mortality rate for children under 5 dropped by 41 per cent between 1990 and 2011 — a significant achievement, yet far short of the target of a two-thirds reduction. The maternal mortality rate fell by 47 per cent over the past .two decades — again, important progress, but still far from the target of 75 per cent.

 

 

Intensified efforts are needed to reach the most vulnerable women and children and ensure their sexual and reproductive healthand reproductive rights, including full access to basic health services and sexual and reproductive education.

 

New HIV infections declined by 21 per cent globally over the past decade, and close to 10 million people living with HIV are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment. Expanded treatment and prevention yielded a 25 per cent reduction in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2011. Yet 2.5 million new infections still occur each year and in many parts of the globe, millions lack access to treatment.The last decade saw a 25 per cent fall inmortality rates from malaria globally,sparing the lives of an estimated 1.1 million people. Between 1995 and 2011,51 million tuberculosis patients were treated successfully, saving 20 million lives.

 

 

Some of the targets for ensuring environmental sustainability have been

achieved: the target for improved water sources was met ahead of schedule, and over the past decade over 200 million slum dwellers — double the target — benefited from improved water and sanitation facilities, durable housing or sufficient living space. Furthermore, from 1990 to 2011, 1.9 billion people gained access to a latrine, flush toilet or other improved sanitation facility. With rapid urbanization and population growth, however, the number of slum dwellers is on the rise. Two and a half billion people lack access to improved sanitation, while a billion practise open defecation, a continued source of illness. 

 

 

In all countries, the achievement of Goal 7, on ensuring environmental

sustainability, remains at significant risk because of the profound and urgent challenges posed by climate change. Carbon dioxide emissions are more than 46 per cent higher than in 1990. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has exceeded 400 parts per million, a level not seen in millions of years and threatening the existence of the planet.

 

 

Biodiversity loss continues at a rapid pace. Freshwater resources are being depleted and fish stocks are overexploited. Land degradation and desertification,ocean acidification and the loss of species and forests continue at an alarming rate.

 

As shown in the forthcoming MDG Gap Task Force Report 2013, progress

towards a global partnership for development has fallen short of expectations. Following an encouraging rise in official development assistance since 2000, over the past two years aid flows have declined. Despite significant debt relief for many countries, the debt-servicing burden of some low-income countries remains intolerably high. Progress in improving market access for many developing countries has been slow, and “aid for trade” has not escaped the impact of reduced official development assistance. Despite welcome gains in connectivity, a substantial digital divide remains between developed and developing regions.

 

We must do everything we can to achieve the Millennium Development Goals

by the end of 2015. That work is unfinished and must continue in order to secure the well-being, dignity and rights of those still on the margins today, as well as of future generations.

 

At the same time, the world has changed radically since the turn of the

millennium. New economic powers have emerged, new technologies are reshaping our societies and new patterns of human settlement and activity are heightening the pressures on our planet. Inequality is rising in rich and poor countries alike.

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