Namibia not on course with MDGs Four and Five

WINDHOEK; Namibia is on course to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), except for MDGs Four and Five.

This is according to United Nations’ Resident Co-ordinator Musinga Bandora, who gave feedback on Namibia’s performance with the MDGs during a media dinner organised by the United Communications Group (UNCG) on behalf of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) on Wednesday.

MDG Four is aimed at reducing child mortality, while MDG Five aims to improve maternal health.

“Namibia is doing well in terms of most of the MDG goals, expect for goals four and five. These remain serious challenges,” he stated.

Adopted in the year 2000, the eight MDGs constitute consensus among the UN member states around a development framework for addressing extreme poverty within a set time frame from the years 2000 to 2015.

Still, nearly 15 years later, only a few people have enough to eat, as well as access to basic services such as water, sanitation and healthcare in Namibia. According to Bandora, gender equality, gender-based violence (GBV) and environmental sustainability also remain a challenge in some of the sub-goals of the MDGs.

He, however, applauded Government for the steps taken in trying to achieve these two goals before the due date. In February 2013, Government and the European Union (EU) launched a N.dollars100 million program to accelerate the achievement of these two goals.

The Program for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality in Namibia, PARMaCM, is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), the EU and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Bandora commended the international community, who agreed last year on 17 new goals to replace the MDGs when it comes to an end in 2015. The new goals are aimed at ensuring that extreme poverty is ended by 2030.

“These new goals should have a more focused agenda, underpinned by a comprehensive mechanism for partnership, but most importantly, it should be ambitious. This will be the challenge for the next few months until the end date of the MDGs in September 2015,” he added.