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The United Nations Executive Board Joint Team that paid a nine day visit to Ethiopia said that Ethiopia is slow in attaining three of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the country has promised to fulfill by 2015.
The three goals which are said to be lagging behind schedule are Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women, Improving Maternal Health, and Ensuring Environmental Sustainability. The three goals targets eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education not later than 2015, reducing maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, and integrating the principles of sustainable development into the country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources, respectively.
“The country has witnessed robust economic growth and prioritized investment in social service delivery systems. Significant improvement in social conditions across the country can be seen as poverty dropped from 38.2 percent to 29.2 percent between 2004/05 and 2009/10. The very conscious integration of the challenges posed by climate change in these targets and achievements adds to the level of results achieved. We have learned that, as a consequence, Ethiopia is making good progress toward meeting the MDGs. We are encouraged to learn that particular efforts are being made to address those MDGs where progress has been slower, in particular MDG 3, 5, and 7, with the assistance of the UN,” said Jostein Leiro, Team Leader of the United Nations Executive Boards Joint Team in a press briefing he gave Journalists on March 30, 2012 at Hilton Addis Ababa.
The 22 member high level delegation representing the six organs of the UN comprised a delegate of 20 countries. The delegates held discussion with senior officials of the federal government as well as officials of Tigray and Somali regional states on issues that ranges from humanitarian assistance to development cooperation.
The members of the delegation were on a similar mission to Djibouti. Every year, the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Program, United Nations Children Fund, United Nation Office for Project Service, World Food Program, United Nation Population Fund and United Nation Women select a particular country for a joint field visit. The two countries were chosen this year’s visit owing to the development challenge facing both countries including the recent humanitarian crisis, the effort they are making to achieve MDGs, and the commitment of the UN Country Teams in the two countries to deliver as one entity.
The MDGs outlines eight goals and 48 targets to be achieved by 2015. Ethiopia is on track to achieve five of the eight intertwined goals which are eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, achieve universal primary education, reducing child mortality, combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, and develop a global partnership for development.