Many countries in the Asian and Pacific region are still falling
behind the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) proposed by the
United Nations, although the region as a whole is on track to
achieve most of the MDGs, a joint report by the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) and UN institutions said on Monday.
"The absolute size of social and economic deprivation remains
enormous," said the report Millennium Development Goals: Progress
in Asia and the Pacific 2006, referring to the slow progress and
unsatisfactory performance on some of the social welfare targets in
many individual countries.
Two thirds of Asians or a total of 1.5 billion people are still
without access to basic sanitation, the new report said, adding
that the region has nearly three times as many underweight children
and people living on less than one U.S. dollar a day as sub-Saharan
Africa and Latin America combined.
In addition, infant mortality and HIV prevalence are also
problematic in the region, according to the report.
The countries falling most behind the MDGs as identified by the
report are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar,
Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.
These countries are causing the greatest concern from the ADB
and the UN because they score negatively on their current level of
MDG performance, the report said.
On the other end of four performance categories grouped by the
report, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Kyrgyz, Malaysia, Palau,
Thailand, and Vietnam are identified as making good progress and
with a latest status better than average for the region.
China is on track to achieve, or has already achieved, most
targets on health and poverty. The country enjoys one of the lowest
child and maternal death rates, some of the lowest HIV, malaria,
and TB prevalence, and has achieved gender parity in primary and
secondary education, the report said.
The report said in the conclusion that with developing
countries' commitment to the sustainable growth required to achieve
the MDGs, developed countries must also provide more aid, fair
trade opportunity and a more equitable share of global prosperity
for the poor people.
The 2006 report updates the detailed analysis provided in the
regional report, "A Future within Reach 2005," released in
September last year at the Millennium Summit in New York. It is
produced through a regional partnership between ADB, United Nations
Development Program, and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia
and the Pacific.
The eight MDGs, which range from halving extreme poverty to
halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary
education, all by the target date of 2015, form a blueprint agreed
to by all the international society.
(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2006)