Govt gaining on war vs. poverty

Published by rudy Date posted on April 18, 2011

THE Philippines is “close” in achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, according to a new World Bank report.

In its report, titled “Year’s Global Monitoring Report 2011: Improving the Odds of Achieving the MDGs,” the Washington-based lender said that the Philippines is “close to target” on halving the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day; ensuring children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling; reducing maternal mortality ratio; and reducing mortality rate of children under five years old.

The country, on the other hand, is “on target” in eliminating gender disparity in primary education and secondary; and halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

In terms of eradicating extreme povety, the Philippines is 10 percent behind of being on target to achieve that millennium goal.

“Reaching the MDGs is a significant achievement for developing countries. But there still is much to do in reducing poverty and improving health outcomes even in the successful countries,” Hans Timmer, director of development prospects at the World Bank, said.

“Donors should build on this success and help countries make the next step through investments in effective service delivery,” he added.

Fight against poverty
On the whole, the fight against poverty is progressing well. Based on current economic projections, the world remains on track to reduce by half the number of people living in extreme poverty.

The number of people living on less than $1.25 a day is projected to be 883 million in 2015, compared with 1.4 billion in 2005, and 1.8 billion in 1990.

Much of this progress reflects rapid growth in China and India, while many African countries are lagging behind. Seventeen countries were far from halving extreme poverty, even as the aggregate goals will be reached.

Developing countries will also likely achieve the MDGs for gender parity in primary and secondary education, and for access to safe drinking water, and will be very close on hunger and on primary education completion.

But progress is slow and targets may be missed on others. Among developing countries, 45 percent were far from meeting the target on access to sanitation, while 39 percent and 38 percent were far from the maternal and child mortality targets.

“Good macroeconomic policies remain crucial to progress toward the MDGs,” Hugh Bredenkamp, deputy director of the International Monetary Fund’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, said.

“The challenge in low income countries is to sustain and accelerate growth through better policies that will create jobs and greater opportunities for the private sector. Advanced economies need to do their part to secure the global recovery, by repairing and reforming their financial systems and tackling their fiscal imbalances,” he added. –DARWIN G. AMOJELAR SENIOR REPORTER, Manila TImes

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