Income Gap Derails Namibia’s MDG Targets

The National Planning Commission (NPC) maintains that Namibia is on target to meet most of the Millennium Challenge Goals (MDGs), apart from two indicators relating to income distribution and inequality, which is the Gini-coefficient.

MDGs are a conglomeration of internationally agreed developmental goals and targets for a hunger-free world and wherein access to primary education is guaranteed on an equal basis for both genders.

This agenda for a period of fifteen years (to expire in September 2015) was launched at the Millennium Summit in 2000, under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly.

According to the NPC, in terms of universal access to primary education, Namibia has achieved or is expected to achieve all targets within the agreed timeframe.

“In particular, there has been a tremendous expansion in the enrollment of children in primary schools and also the survival rate to grades 5 and 8,” said Willem Goeiemann, NPC’s chief national development aiser.

He said that with respect to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the ratio of female to male children enrolled in secondary school and the literacy rate have been attained. He added that they were equally proud of achievements around the incidence of malaria per 1 000 population.

Regarding access to clean, drinkable water, the NPC said that “full access” has been attained, while in terms of environmental sustainability, the proportion of protected areas has increased. “The increase in the number of conservancies and community forests under the Community Based Natural Resource Management Programme deserves special mention because of its positive impact not only in increasing wildlife numbers but also because of the benefits that local communities derive,” said the NPC in a statement.

Furthermore, Goeiemann said that to ensure success and guard against the reversal of these achievements, Namibia must remain engaged on the global front and build solid and mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded actors around the globe.

However, the NPC said that there were some challenges in meeting the MDGs as more needed to be done to guarantee greater impact on the reduction of poverty, curtailment of HIV and infant mortality, improved maternal health and increased allocation of land to freehold conservancies.

“In addition it emerged that issues of governance such as fighting corruption and decentralisation must be given more prominence.”

In relation to fighting poverty and hunger, food security had been flagged as a key area of interest, said the NPC.

The MDGs are also geared towards securing a healthy life for both the mother and a newborn, where HIVAIDS and other communicable diseases are arrested and where the natural environment and its endured resources are utilised optimally to guarantee profitability. The NPC said it has done a thorough review of the MDGs and a consensus emerged that unfinished business of the MDGs such as poverty reduction, poor education and maternal and child mortality which continue to pose teething challenges must remain central to the new agenda beyond 2015.

The eight MDGs are:

MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

MDG 4: Reduce child mortality

MDG 5: Improve maternal health

MDG 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases

MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Source : New Era