With less than three years to go, Iraq’s progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals shows a mixed picture. There has been progress, but also deterioration over the period 1990-2011 across all eight MDG goals in Iraq’s governorates.
At the national level the biggest achievement was MDG1. Extreme Poverty was reduced by more than half its level since 1990, reaching 11.3% in 2011. In addition, significant progress is visible on MDG3 in promotion of Gender Equality. The share of girls’ net enrollment rate in primary and secondary school increased from 88% (primary) and 75% (secondary) in 2006 to 94% and 85% respectively in 2011. The representation of women in parliament also increased from 13% in 1990 to 27% in 2011. However, progress needs to continue to address persistent gender disparities.
Slower progress was achieved on MDG4: Reducing child mortality. Infant mortality stands at 32 (per 1000 live births), which is almost twice the 2015 target of 17/1000. Despite improvements in reproductive health services (91% births are attended by skilled health personnel and 76% of mothers have at least one antenatal visit), maternal mortality (MDG5) in Iraq is the highest in the region standing at 84 deaths per 1000 live births (2006 data). And while Education is key for Iraq’s future, especially considering its young population, the net enrollment rate is still at 89%, below its 1990 level (91%).