Significant progress on MDG
Bangladesh has made commendable achievements on several Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set by the United Nations in the year 2000. These include taking primary education enrolment up to nearly 98 percent; people living in extreme poverty has dropped to 24.8 percent against targeted 29 percent and this has been achieved three years ahead of time. Under-five mortality rate and reducing prevalence of underweight children below 5 years are on track; ratio of girls to boys in both primary and secondary education has seen marked improvement.
The country is lagging behind in three major areas, namely generating sufficient employment, protection of the environment and achieving overall nutrition. As pointed out in the UN report, the country has 13.4 percent forestry as opposed to what should be 20 percent. For any populous country like Bangladesh, nutrition is of prime concern. Though the problem of underweight children aged below five has been tackled, there are still the more than a third of our children who suffer from stunting. With nearly 17 percent of the population unable to consume the daily minimum level of 1,805 kilo calorie per day means we have work to do in this area. Low economic participation of women remains an area of concern along with unemployment and underemployment in the 15-24 age groups.
Of the 8 goals, Bangladesh has achieved resounding success in 7 despite periods of political unrest. For us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for 2016 – 2030, Bangladesh must look beyond mere resource allocation – we need political stability, good governance and a faster rate of implementation.