Peshawar, 27th October, 2011: The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the first-ever Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report at the Planning and Development Department in Peshawar today. The Report tracks Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s progress against each MDG.
The MDGs are a set of 8 goals adopted by 189 countries, including Pakistan in 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015. The MDGs provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Rahim Dad Khan, Senior Minister, Planning & Development and Energy & Power, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stated, ‘The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would like to thank UNDP and other UN agencies for extending their sasupport for the compilation of the first-ever provincial MDG report. This Report will serve as a baseline to track progress and inform future programmes and policies of the Province. The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is committed to accelerate progress towards the achievement of MDGs and is the only province which has developed provincial MDG targets.’ ‘The Government is implementing a Comprehensive Development Strategy which seeks to accelerate development in the province’ he added.
Jean Luc Stalon, UNDP Country Director a.i., appreciated the contribution and active involvement of the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Planning and Development, Chief Economist as well as Secretaries of other departments in the compilation of the report. “The ownership at such a high level shows the commitment of the Government towards the achievement of MDGs” Jean-Luc underlined.
Jean-Luc Stalon stated ‘The Report provides empirical evidence on the status of MDGs and will help inform development planning and programmes of not only the Provincial Government but also other development partners. We would also like to thank the sister UN agencies for their invaluable contribution into the compilation of this report.’
‘UNDP has helped countries develop MDGs Acceleration Frameworks and will be happy to provide similar support to the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to fast track progress towards the MDGs’ he further added.
The Report uses the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (2008-09) data for most of its analysis. Poverty in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is estimated at 29% (in 2005/06) which is 7% higher than the national average. However, with sufficient resource allocation, the provincial and federal poverty alleviation programs can play a role in poverty reduction.
The 10+ literacy rate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is 50% and the gap in female literacy is 31%. Despite this, there are pockets of high literacy in the province. Abbotabad, for example, has the highest literacy rates in the province at 72 %, with female literacy estimated at 61%.
Other MDG targets also indicate slow progress. Significant gender gaps exist in almost all social indicators across the Province and maternal mortality rate remains high. The infant mortality rate was 76 deaths per 1000 births in 2008. Through successful immunization programmes, 73 % children (ages 12 to 23 months) have been fully immunized, while in some urban regions, 100% children have been immunized.
The Report also highlights that only 50% of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s population has proper sanitation facilities and access to tap water with disparities between rural and urban areas.
The Report concludes that, as is the case nationally, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is not on track to achieve the MDGs with security problems, conflict and natural disasters (2005 earthquake and 2010 Floods) as contributing factors. Despite these impediments, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has shown resolve and can still bring about significant positive change if the security situation remains at current levels of stability, or improves; and if rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts post-floods go as planned.