GIS – 16 December, 2013: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Status Report 2013 for Mauritius, aiming to enable the country to take stock of where we are on the MDG timeline and what remains to be achieved, was launched this morning at Le Sirius, Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port Louis.
In his address at the launching ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Dr Arvin Boolell, said that the MDGs with their clear, practical and measurable objectives have brought together world leaders in an unprecedented manner around a common vision. He cited as example the reduction of poverty target reached worldwide five years ahead of schedule with about 700 million fewer people living in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. The Minister also gave the example of improved drinking water sources with more than 2.1 billion people gaining access to the precious liquid in the last 21 years.
According Dr Boolell, the clock is ticking and with roughly around eight hundred days left Mauritius is committed to accelerate and pursue the MDGs unrelentingly. The Minister provided an insight on how Mauritius has fared so far.
Mauritius has achieved MDG Goal 2 on Achieving Primary Education two years before the deadline of 2015. Education has always been a top priority for Mauritius and Government is continuing to sustain its commitment to maintaining investments in education, stated Dr Boolell.
The report informs that although the provisions of free health care services have significantly led to the decrease in child mortality Goal 4, Mauritius is yet to attain reduction by two-thirds with respect to the 1990 baseline. The maternal mortality ratio (Goal 5) which had seen constant regression over a period of sixteen years has surged back over the last eight years.
The reasons thereof are yet unknown, said the Minister adding that to overcome these challenges, Government has placed maternal, neonatal and child health amongst its top priorities. Dr Boolell enumerated a number of measures being undertaken to reduce child mortality in Mauritius. These include strengthening maternal and child health care through the implementation of the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan; setting up of an Institute of Women’s Health and Paediatric Hospital; and implementing a Primary Care Physician Scheme.
For his part, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius, Mr Simon Springett, stated that when world leaders agreed on the Millennium Declaration in 2000, few could have imagined what would follow. For the first time in human history countries came together at the United Nations and turned noble principles and high aspirations into a set of time-bound common goals and targets for development – the MDGs, he observed. This bold experiment has helped to catalyse one of the greatest surges in human well-being that the world has ever seen, added Mr Springett.
According to him, despite the challenging external environment and successive global crises, Mauritius has made remarkable progress in achieving MDGs and Targets – owing mainly to the social welfare policies pursued by the Government, with particular focus on free education, universal free health care and large social transfers.
The Report - Highlights
The 2013 Mauritius MDG Report reviews the progress in achieving the MDGs, the factors contributing to the progress and identifies remaining gaps and challenges.
The Report highlights that Mauritius has already achieved 11 of the 21 MDG targets and is working towards achieving the remaining goals. Other elements include: high literacy rate of 98% and net enrolment ratio in primary education of 99%; high life expectancy at birth, low incidence of communicable diseases; and universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
Some of the emerging priorities identified in the report include: an increasingly ageing population, high prevalence of non communicable diseases, increase in the number of persons suffering from disabilities, threats to food security, relatively high prevalence of substance abuse, and a widening income gap.
The Report also highlights that being a middle-income Small Island Developing State, Mauritius also faces challenges in accessing concessional global financing for addressing development issues.
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