| GEO Business|
Setting new development goals urged for flood-hit Pakistan
| Updated at: 1048 PST, Saturday, September 18, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: The United Nations said Pakistan will have to set afresh the Millennium Development Goals in the wake of floods across Pakistan despite the fact the country could not achieve the most of already set targets, Geo News reported Saturday.
The UN set targets of development at the inception of the millennium for at least 139 countries to achieve by 2015; these targets related poverty alleviation, hunger and strengthening women socially and economically.
Pakistan’s Planning Commission launched Small Millennium Development Report, indicating that the country has failed to achieve its goals due to slow economic growth, severe energy crises, socio-political problems, security issues, war on terror and recent flood in the country.
Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeemul Haq – while speaking in the launching ceremony of the report said displacements of people by floods have put a massive pressure on the economy and it is a big challenge to tackle these issues, which is going to have an adverse impact on the country – not only in terms of achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and targets but also in achieving sustained economic growth over the next few years.
He also said the government is making efforts to cope with above-mentioned challenges and aims at increasing the economic growth rate. To this end planning commission is already working on devising a growth strategy, which will be aimed at making Pakistan competitive in global markets.
With regards to improving the livelihood of the poor and marginalised segments of the society, the government has taken several measures, among which reaching consensus of National Finance Commission Award and introduction of social safety nets especially through BISP are the most significant. He also said that the developing world is lapsing on its commitment towards achieving the eighth goal – “Developing a global partnership for development”. The rich countries’ trade policies are impeding Pakistan’s exports. “They can help to provide much needed quota free and duty free access to exporters from developing countries like Pakistan as recommended in the eighth goal”, he said.
He further said we could only tackle the current challenges by joint efforts and hope that the development partners will support Pakistan’s stance on the final goal. A detailed presentation on the status of the MDGs targets was presented by Aisha Maqsood Ahmed, Gender Specialist. She said it is evident from the statistics presented in the report that Pakistan has adopted 16 national targets 37 indicators against the 8 MDGs, keeping in view the priorities and data availability. Pakistan is ahead in 6 indicators; on track in two; slow in 4; lags behind in 20 indicators and is off track only in one indicator.
In his keynote address Secretary Planning and Development Division Ashraf M. Hayat said the report has significant importance, as it is only a monitoring tool for measuring Pakistan’s performance in achieving MDGs. While only five years remain towards the attainment of these goals by 2015.
“The UN Summit is very timely to reassess the world’s commitment with respect to the MDGs. In spite of all the challenges and unfavorable circumstances faced by Pakistan, the government is resolved to fulfill its commitment of achieving the MDGs,” he said.
He emphasised that the developed world should fulfill its role by allowing free access to their markets, transfer of new technologies, and by providing favorable terms of trade. Resident Coordinator United Nations Pakistan Onder Yucer and Country Director UNDP Toshihiro Tanaka also addressed the participants.