Zim unlikely to meet new UN poverty goals

HARARE - Zimbabwe is least likely to achieve the set of global goals aimed at ending poverty.

World leaders agreed last year that by 2030, nobody on the planet should be living on less than $1,25 per day, the United Nations (UN)’s threshold poverty figure, but chronic underfunding is holding back progress, a government position paper has revealed.

The proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed to by the UN’s 193 member countries last year, is a set of 15-year objectives that range from ending hunger and poverty, promoting education, fighting inequality and conquering climate change.

The government has adopted only 10 SDGs as priority areas, leaving out the first and most important goal — to end poverty “in all its forms everywhere.”

Presenting the country’s position paper to UN agencies and civil society in Harare last week, Macroeconomic Planning ministry permanent secretary Desire Sibanda said government had adopted SDGs two, three, four and five, six, seven, eight, 13 and 17.

Goal two focuses on zero hunger, three focuses on good health and well-being, four on quality education, and five on gender equality, goal six on clean water and sanitation, seven on affordable and clean energy, eight focuses on decent work and economic growth, nine on industry innovation and infrastructure, 13 on climate action, while 17 looks at partnerships for the goals.

Justifying why government left out SDG one on poverty; Sibanda claimed the chosen goals were in the long run supposed to eradicate poverty, an assertion strongly objected to by other stakeholders who suggested government prioritises ending poverty as a goal on its own.

“I want to thank the people who have given suggestions on how government should roll out the SDGs and I will take these suggestions forward,” Sibanda said.

Poverty’s manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. As world leaders brandish the hard-fought new set of global goals designed to improve lives in all countries, the question of who foots the bill remain open.

Sibanda said government would not be getting finance from UN agencies to implement the SDGs.

“We are not going to be looking at UN Development Programme for financing of the SDGs. You should also know that the SDGs have been integrated into the ZimAsset,” he said.

This came as Unicef statistics showed that 72 percent of Zimbabweans had no knowledge of SDGs, according to a survey the agency conducted last week.

Unicef deputy representative in Zimbabwe Jane Muita urged government to begin work on the SDGs and mapping how they would be implemented.
“Unless implemented, they (SDGs) will remain papers on the wall,” Muita said.

Comments (1)

Interesting topic. Here is an article which discusses some of the issues concerned with achieving these developmental goals. http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/self-sufficiency-sustainability-rural-communities-ebnezer-masasi?trk=prof-post

totfire - 6 December 2016

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