As there are gaps in the resources in certain sectors to meet MDGs by 2015, the recent statements by Nepal’s development partners lauding the country’s progress in reproductive and maternal health at UN forum are a welcome boost to Nepal’s efforts.
“The total resource gap is US$ 19.7 billion. Given Nepal’s progress, Nepal’s development partners will support us to meet the resources gap,” said Dr. Dinesh Chandra Devkota, former vice chairman of the National Planning Commission. “It is good that our efforts are hailed in international forum by Nepal’s development partners.”
The heads of the US and UK governments’ aid programs have recognized that efforts to reduce maternal mortality in Nepal offer potentially “game changing” lessons in the fight against international poverty.
At a high-profile event on September 21 during the UN General Assembly in New York, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID, and Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, highlighted the innovative policies and programs to improve reproductive and maternal health in Nepal as bringing about a significant step toward achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The event – MDG Countdown: Successes and Innovations – examined the successes and the potential for expansion in other countries.
Dr. Sudha Sharma, Secretary of Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP), presented Nepal’s case at the MDG Countdown event.
UK Secretary of State for International Development, Mitchell, said, “These efforts are making a real difference toward reducing poverty. We want to hold it up to the world, so others can learn from these successes. It demonstrates that development buys results – it shows that through innovations we can deliver inspirational change to people’s lives.”
USAID Administrator Dr. Shah remarked, “To meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, we must work more effectively and efficiently to deliver meaningful results for the people we serve. By working directly with country governments and local partners, we can increase transparency and support more innovative policies and interventions with the potential to transform development.”
The MDGs consist of internationally agreed targets to reduce global poverty by 2015. As the international community counts down to 2015, the US and UK have said they remain committed to inspire action by celebrating successes and innovations across the MDGs. As the first of the MDG Countdown series, the event highlighted programs, policies and partnerships from Nepal, Brazil, Ethiopia, Gambia, Peru, Vietnam, and Zambia.
“As we saw from the MDG progress report last year, Nepal has made significant progress on a number of the Millennium Development Goals over the past years. Nepal is on the track to achieve many of the targets, except those related to full and sustained employment, hunger, education and environment,” said Robert Piper, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
“It is good news to hear from Nepal’s development partners about Nepal’s progress. Nepal is on the right track now,” said Dipendra Chettri, vice chairperson of National Planning Commission.