Millenium Development Goals hard to achieve: UN

 Though it has gained remarkably in spreading primary education and containing AIDS, India is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for reduction of hunger as well as chid mortality, says the latest United Nations report.

The Asia-Pacific Regional MDG Report 2011-12 that was released by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday has pointed out that the progress towards achieving these goals are too slow to reach the target.

One-hundred-and-eighty-nine nations in the year 2000 took a pledge to free their people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This aim became the eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. In September 2010, the world recommitted itself to accelerating progress towards these goals.

The recent report has been jointly launched by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.

It has categorised countries progressing towards achieving development goals as on-track countries and those not progressing in doing so as off-track countries.

India is on-track or early achiever on goals on education, forestry, containing AIDS or providing safe drinking water to its population, it is lagging behind on hunger, child mortality, and maternal mortality and expanding access to basic sanitation.

“A key failure has been to ensure that children in Asia and the Pacific are well nourished,” the report has noted.  However, unlike India, as the data provided in the report show, countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Vietnam has made “heartening progress”.

The lack of infrastructure like roads and hospitals add to the worsening situation in maternal mortality, says the report. “Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan fall below the regression line, performing worse than might have been expected, possibly as a result of other factors  such as low health expenditures which reduce the supply of skilled birth attendants,” it points out.

The report also mentioned that countries like India show rural-urban disparities.

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