THE UPCOMING national elections provide an opportunity to reflect on the country’s commitment to attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
With only five years left, all countries, including the Solomon Islands, need to intensify efforts to both understand and reach these goals.
Solomon Islands was among 189 countries that signed up to the Millennium Summit in 2000 setting out eight goals known as MDG’s, which are aimed at dramatically improving the lives of billions of people worldwide by 2015.
The MDG seeks to eradicate extreme poverty; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.
Since signing up to the agreement a number of achievements have been gathered for some of the MDG goals.
A latest statistics from the regional database Pacinfo show that 94 percent of all children in Solomon Islands attend Primary school. This means that the MDG on universal primary education is within reach. The ratio of boys and girls in primary education has also evened out- a huge improvement from the situation in 1990.
Other MDG show progress too, with data from Pacinfo showing that the prevalence in Solomon Islands of underweight children under five years has dropped sharply from 23 percent in 1990 to 11.8 percent in 2007. This is very close to reaching one of the targets under MDG one.
Despite progress on some of the MDGs, challenges remain.