MDG Drive Capitalizes on Earlier Gains
Belarus has already made significant progress in fulfilling its commitment to implement the Millennium Development Goals. This is in part a result of the Government’s long-standing pursuit of policies aimed at the social sector, which began in the mid-1990s – and whose benefits are reflected in Belarus’s consistently high Human Development Indicators (its global HDI ranking was 40th in 1994).
Belarus has also mounted a major drive to harmonise its national development strategies and goals with the MDGs. Its major development plan, the Main Directions of Social and Economic Development of Belarus for 2006-2010, contains a number of MDG-related targets, beginning with the reduction of poverty.
In 2006-2007, Belarus embarked on a series of MDG-related sectoral development programmes. These include the National Programme of HIV/AIDS Prevention for 2006-2010; the National Action Plan to Achieve Targets for SME Development till 2010; the National Comprehensive Programme to Promote Development in Small and Medium-sized Urban Settlements for 2007 – 2010, the National Energy Conservation Programme for 2006-2010, and the Targeted Programme to Cover 25% of Belarus' Energy Needs with Domestic and Alternative Sources by 2012, and the others.
Belarus’s first national MDG Report was submitted in September 2005. The Report, using national statistical data, assessed the country’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and proposed a number of specific development targets and indicators.
At the same time, the Report pointed to a number of setbacks that are being addressed on an urgent basis by policy-makers. For instance, by 2004, under-five mortality had decreased to 9.1 per 1,000 live births, which is close to the level of developed countries. However, child mortality in rural areas was found to be twice as high as it is in cities – the result of significant gaps between rural and urban areas in health care.
One example involves the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, which has been addressed by a broad network of medical institutions and a system of epidemiological control. Yet from 1990 to 2004, the number of deaths attributed to tuberculosis rose by 2.5 times, with rural inhabitants 1.5 times more likely to die from tuberculosis than their urban counterparts.
In 2007, with support from UNICEF and UNDP, BelarusInfo (DevInfo-based) database comprised of 126 MDGs-related indicators disaggregated to the regional level was developed by the Ministry of Statistics and Analysis and made available to potential users. By September 2008, the second national MDG report is expected to be released.
Last updated 30 July 2008
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