The United Nations says Sri Lanka is in the forefront of achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially in the health and education sectors, despite a low per capita GDP.
The Second MDG progress report launched in Colombo this week said the country has already achieved several of the MDG’s target to be fulfilled by 2015. It said Sri Lanka has made great strides in the areas of poverty alleviation, child and maternal mortality rates and gender equality. The country is on track to achieve the targets for most of the indicators by 2015.
The report not only describes the progress the country made during the nine years since the signing of the Millennium Declaration but also points out the challenges that remain and of what more needs to be done to address these challenges. The United Nations Country Team said Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieve the MDGs is at its highest level.
According to the report, Sri Lanka has the lowest Maternal Mortality Rate in South East Asia and the country has achieved considerable success in reducing it. At its current level of 11.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, Infant Mortality Rate is lower than that achieved by countries considerably wealthier than Sri Lanka. The report says poverty in Sri Lanka declined from 26.1 percent in 1990-91 to 15.2 percent in 2006-07. The country is expected to reach a target of 13 percent at the national level by 2015. According to the report, Sri Lanka has almost achieved the universal primary education target with net enrollment rate reaching 97.5 percent in 2006/07 for both males and females. The re[port pointed out that at this rate Sri Lanka will achieve the target of 100 percent well before 2015, if present trends are continued.