Sabtu, 20 Oktober 2012

INDONESIA MEETS SOME MDG TARGETS DESPITE CHALLENGES by Fardah

     Jakarta, Oct 20, 2012 (ANTARA) - Out of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations, Indonesia has been able to meet at least three despite facing many challenges as the fourth most populous country in the world.
     Having a population of 237 million, Indonesia has been striving hard to overcome problems such as poverty, high infant and maternal mortality rates, gender inequality, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis, in its efforts to achieve MDG targets.

      Among the internal challenges facing the Indonesian government are the varying degrees of success in implementation of MDGs across the nation.
     The MDGs, agreed by UN member nations in September 2000, consist of eight goals that have to be achieved by 2015: Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Starvation; Achieving Universal Primary Education; Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women; Reducing Child Mortality; Improvement of Maternal Health; Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Infectious Diseases; Ensuring Sustainable Environment; and Developing a Global Partnership for Development.
     Earlier this month, the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) identified three MDG targets that have been successfully met by Indonesia: a decline in the proportion of people with per capita income of less than US$1 dollar a day; improvement in gender equality, indicated by increased enrollment ratios of girls in high schools and the higher literacy rate among women; and the reduction of the prevalence of tuberculosis.
      "In trying to meet its commitment to the MDGs, Indonesia has faced big challenges, such as free trade restrictions, oil price fluctuation, climate change and global warming, as well as the European crisis," said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the National Development Planning Minister/Chairperson of Bappenas, in a press statement.
      As per 2004-09the national medium-term development plan (RPJM), established by Presidential Decree No. 7/2005, efforts to achieve MDGs are incorporated in policies relating to various sectors.
      In some sectors, the targets set were more ambitious than that of the MDGs, such as in poverty eradication, reduction of child malnutrition, and increased enrollment in primary schools.
     In order to monitor the progress achieved, in February 2004, the government launched a "Progress Report on Achieving the Millennium Development Goals" for the first time.
     In general, Indonesia`s achievement with regard to MDG targets can be classified under three categories: targets that have been achieved; targets that have indicated significant progress and are expected to be achieved by 2015; and targets that need more efforts in order to be achieved.
       According to Bappenas, the country has made significant improvement in its efforts to reduce the numbers of underweight children below five years of age.
      Other areas of progress include the net enrollment rate in primary education, the net enrollment ratio of girls to boys in secondary high school and higher education, reduction in infant mortality rate, and the development of open, rules-based, predictable and non-discriminatory trading and financial system.
       However, Indonesia needs to work much harder in order to achieve its targets of reducing the poverty rate, maternal mortality rate, prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and greenhouse gases. It also needs to step up efforts to increase the number of households with safe drinking water and families with access to basic sanitation.
       Indonesia is also facing a shortage of skilled human resources that can help incorporate MDG targets into regional governments` policies, as well as collect sufficient data and information about implementation of MDGs at the district/city level. The synergy between the local and central governments is seen to be not ideal.
       "Therefore, we need to agree to deal with the challenges by adopting better strategies for the MDG target implementation and achieving better synergy between the regional and central governments, in order to achieve the MDGs," Minister Alisjahbana said.
      The country`s Maternal Mortality Rate has reached 228 per 100,000 live births, which is among the highest in Southeast Asia, according to the data collected from Demographic and Health Survey (IDHS/SDKI).
      Besides, based on the data collected in 2009, about 186,257 people were reportedly infected with HIV. The Ministry of Health has warned that the figure will reach 541,700 by 2014 if adequate prevention measures are not implemented.

The Presidential Special Envoy on the MDGs, Prof Nila Moeloek, during a seminar on MDGs, held in Jakarta in May 2012, said: "The fifth MDG (on maternal health improvement) and the sixth MDG (on infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDs) are indeed huge challenges that the nation should address in order to meet all the MDG targets by 2015."


As quoted in the official website of the United Nations (UN) office in Indonesia, she stated that Indonesia was a signatory to the Cairo`s International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action that aimed to "set up a new paradigm in reproductive health, putting human rights, human development and individual well-being at the centre of programme policies".


"This move is strengthened by the signing of Declaration of Millennium Development Goals in 2000 which, among others, focus on reducing the maternal and infant mortality and combating HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases," Prof Nila said.


"Indonesia is also committed to the 2011 High Level Meeting on HIV goal of `Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections, Zero AIDS-related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination against people living with HIV, and key affected populations," she continued.


"The adoption of these three international agreements by the Government of Indonesia shows our strong commitment to creating a framework to address sexual and reproductive health and rights in the country. Failing to solve the problems surrounding reproductive and sexual rights means that we fail to meet the MDG targets as well as to translate our promise in Cairo into action," Prof Nila added.


She also expressed optimism that the country would be able to meet the fifth MDG despite the country`s current maternal mortality ratio being high. The fifth goal of the MDGs is to reduce maternal mortality ratio by three quarters by 2015.


"Although Indonesia`s maternal mortality ratio is the highest in Southeast Asia, we are optimistic that the fifth MDG target will be achieved, because many people are currently working on reproduction-related issues across the nation," she stated. ***3***

(f001/A/INE/B003)

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