By: Qurat ul Ain Aman
In the Context of Pakistan
Being a developing country, Pakistan is grappling with a number of issues at present. These issues are not just limited to the social sector but also include economic and political domains. Strenuous efforts are being put in, both by the government and the private sector, to bring prosperity to the country by solving the prevailing issues. Still much effort is needed to pull our dear homeland out of all these crises.
Amidst all these circumstances, global development agenda and programmes remain helpful as they emphasize on long-term, broad policies and commitments. Pakistan showed commitment to the set targets under the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs). Though Pakistan adopted 41 indicators and 16 targets, its performance, unfortunately, was not up to the mark. Nevertheless, there are a few achievements also. According to the Ministry of Planning and Development, more than one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990, new HIV/AIDS infections fell by almost 40 percent since 2000, and the number of out-of-school children has dropped by more than half since 1990.
Despite having failed to achieve all the set targets under the MDGs, now the commitments have been made to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many issues of Pakistan can be solved if serious efforts are made to achieve the targets set under the SDGs. These 17 goals cover almost all major areas.
We have to learn a lot from our achievements and failures in achieving MDGs. It doesn’t matter how many goals our government fixes to achieve these targets, what really matters is how accurate, clear and achievable are these targets. A good step taken by the government was to align the objectives of Vision 2025 with the SDGs.
The first goal of the SDGs is ‘No poverty’ that seeks to eradicate poverty in all its forms. In Pakistan, around 39 percent people are living below the poverty line. Unemployment rate is at its peak. So, in these circumstances, the first SDG provides a framework to end these two very basic issues of our country. If we consider the root cause of these social issues, we will come to know that no proper measures are being taken to analyze the underlined reasons of these issues. Things are changing with each passing day. According to the recent census, the total population of Pakistan is 207.8 million. Our government will have to make more prudent, clear and result-oriented policies to turn the dream of eradicating poverty from Pakistan into a reality.
The second sustainable development goal is: Zero hunger. It seeks to achieve food security and improve our agriculture system. Now, our government has committed itself to solving all the issues related to food security and malnutrition. The environment of Pakistan is suitable for agriculture but unfortunately the condition of this system is deteriorating fast. The government is trying to improve things but for that, all the policies must be in alignment with the emerging needs.
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