NNNGO joined the United Nations System in Nigeria to Launch the MDGs Report 2011

As the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, launch the Millennium Development Goals Report 2011 in New York, a report issued by the United Nations Information Centre in Lagos has said that Sub-Sahara Africa had advanced on many MDGs but still faces tough challenges.

The MDG Report 2011 says Sub-Sahara Africa leads the world in steadily reducing new HIV infections. In addition, treatment for HIV and AIDS has expanded quickly. The proportion of people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral treatment increased from 3 per cent in 2004 to 37 per cent in 2009.

With emphasis on Nigeria, the World Health Organization (WHO) Head of Office in Nigeria, Dr. Charles Korir, said Nigeria is making real progress. “Whilst no Goal is certain to be achieved, there is good news on each. If the supportive environment continues to improve, as it has over the past ten years, the nation has a rel chance of achieving the MDGs.”

Supported at the launch by Ms. Isinkah Ibuakah of IFC, Mrs. Josephine Smith of UNHCR, Dr. Isaac Aladeloye of UNICEF, Dr. Daniel Omosehin, the Head of Office of UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Report said for every MDG there is a positive story to be told.

“Although there are extreme variations from state to state, indictors for primary school enrolment, the proportion of underweight children, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and debt sustainability show impressive improvements. Progress on improving access to safe water, primary completion rates, empowering women and ensuring births are attended by skilled health workers has been much slower.”

Said Dr. Korir, “Nigeria fully integrates the MDGs into national development strategies and leads Africa in introducing innovative initiatives to reduce poverty and improve public services. Pioneering schemes include the virtual poverty fund that tags and tracks funds allocated to poverty reduction from debt relief, compulsory free basic education, conditional cash transfers to the vulnerable for social protection, and federal grants to support investment by state and local governments. But more is required. More in terms of innovative governance reforms, more financing and more coordination.”

On women and children, the 2011 Report showed that although major inroads are being made in reducing child mortality, the highest levels of under five mortality continue to be found in sub-Sahara Africa. “One in eight children died before the age of five in 2009, nearly twice the average in the developing regions and around 18 times the average in the developed regions. And despite advances in many countries in reducing maternal deaths, sub-Sahara Africa also has the highest maternal level in the world – 640 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2008, which is more than twice the average in the developing regions and 38 times the average in the developed regions.”