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Reports MDGs in BhutanBO Focus - MDGs: Where are we?
Millennium Development Goals in Bhutan
"The UN remains committed to achieving the MDGs by 2015, in partnership with the Royal Government of Bhutan, donors, private sector and civil society to help enhance the happiness of the Bhutanese people through mobilization of global expertise, knowledge and resources."
"Going forward, there is still so much more that we as a nation need to do. I believe MDGs set minimum targets for development that Bhutan appears certain to achieve ahead of time, but in terms of what we as a nation really aspire to, there is only one objective by which we can truly measure our collective achievement, and that must always remain the timeless vision and noble goal of Gross National Happiness."
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions. They embody the deep aspirations and commitment of the global community for significant improvements in the quality of human life. In Bhutan, the UNDP cooperation is in the areas of poverty reduction, envinronment and disaster management, governance, education and health. Support entails providing policy advice and capacity building for pro-poor growth; targeted and integrated poverty reduction initiatives; integration of environment and disaster risk reduction into national and local development planning and programming processes; complementing national effort on good governance and goals on education and health.
According to the third MDG Progress Report - Bhutan's Progress: Midway to the Millennium Development Goals 2008, Bhutan has achieved significant and sustained progress and is well on track on achieving all the targets by 2015. Bhutan has made notably progress in enhancing the access halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to sanitation and safe drinking water (target 10) and halving the under-weight under-five children (target 2). The report also reveals that diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis have been successfully controlled.
However, the Royal Government cannot be complacent as some of the goals such as gender parity at the tertiary level would be difficult to meet. To facilitate further progress on the MDGs and integrate these goals more effectively into the development planning and resource allocation processes, an MDG Needs Assessment and Costing exercise was conducted in June 2006 and the resulting Bhutan MDG Needs Assessment and Costing Report (2006-2015) published in February 2008.
This joint report of the Royal Government and the UN system in Bhutan provides a detailed assessment of what the country requires in terms of financial, human and institutional resources and policy reforms to meet the MDGs by 2015. It estimates that Bhutan will need to increase public investment by around USD 2.5 billion between 2006 and 2015 if it is to implement prioritized activities identified by Thematic Task Forces for achieving the MDGs and the Tenth Five Year Plan (2008-2013). The social sector (health and education) targets account for the major chunk of the investment at 46.3% of the total estimated outlay of the needs assessment.
The needs assessment and costing exercise was conducted almost in tandem with the preparation of the Tenth Plan, thereby helping to mainstream the MDGs into the Tenth Plan. The MDG NA and Costing Report was one of the key background documents of the Royal Government for the Tenth Plan Round Table Meeting held on the 17- 18 of February 2008.
With less than 5 years remaining until the MDG deadline, UNDP continues to work with the Royal Government and the UN System to accelerate efforts towards meeting the MDGs by 2015. In 2011, UNDP efforts are geared towards addressing poverty inequalities that exist within districts and blocks, localization of the MDGs and calculating Multi-Dimensional Poverty index for Bhutan. The Bhutan Multiple Indicator Survey and GNH survey that has been completed through UN support is expected to provide useful social indicators beyond national figures.
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