Challenges remain as Uganda achieves the first Millennium Development Goal
Kampala - Uganda has made considerable progress in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly in halving the number of people living in absolute poverty and achieving debt sustainability.
This is according to the Uganda 2013 MDGs Progress Report which was launched yesterday in Kampala by Maria Kiwanuka, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development who said the report ventures beyond its predecessors by empirically investigating the drivers behind Uganda’s MDG status.
Although the report notes major success in various areas, it also points out that there are a number of other areas where progress remains slow, stagnant or in reversal especially in MDG 5 on maternal mortality and MDG 6 on HIV/AIDS. “Trends in maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS are particularly worrying given their direct impact on the lives of so many Ugandans and the future generation,” Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, the UNDP Resident Representative, also the UN Resident Coordinator said during the launch event.
She called on Government, Ministry of Finance in particular to put all available resources bringing down the maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. “This,” she said, “could be done through family planning, skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetrics care for maternal mortality while re-engaging all Ugandans in a comprehensive sensitisation campaign to promote behavioural change would raise awareness on the challenges HIV/AIDS poses to people of all ages.”
As 2015, draws closer and the international community works on deciding a new development agenda through an ongoing discussion on which development path governments should take to after the MDGs. The 2013 Uganda MDG report puts special focus on Uganda’s Post 2015 development agenda, which is highlighted in the Government’s Vision 2040.
The Minister noted that the Government that Vision 2040 centres on ensuring macro-economic stability and the provision of social services towards an addition and more ambitious role in leading the economy’s structural transformation.
As part of its Post 2015 Agenda, the Resident Coordinator said that Government needs to pay special attention to the needs of the people in Northern Uganda which presents some of the worst development indicators in the country. Efforts should also be stepped up to preserve Uganda’s natural environment, its rich bio-diversity including its forests and wetlands.
The 2013 MDG report score-card indicates that apart from achieving goal one, Uganda is on track to achieve goal three on gender equality and empowering women and goal four reducing child mortality. It is also on track for targets on sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation under goal seven on environmental sustainability.
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries in 2000. They have been used to galvanize unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest by most of the world’s governments and some of world’s leading development institutions. The deadline achieving the goals in 2015 and already discussions on the Post 2015 agenda have started both at local and global levels.
Doreen Kansiime, Communications Assistant