Fact sheet on current MDG progress of Lebanon (Arab States)

The Republic of Lebanon is a small country with an estimated population of 4.97 million in 2014, plus an additional 260,000 Palestinians and other migrant workers. 44 percent of the population is young (below 24 years), and around 88 percent live in cities – the main ones being Beirut (capital), Saida, Tripoli, Zahleh, Jounieh, and Sour.

Lebanon is a medium-income, free-market economy with extensive links up with the developed world in most economic activities. The private sector contributed to over 80 percent of the GDP, and includes manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and trade and tourism, but is predominated by the services sector such as media and advertising, hotels and restaurants, and banking and finance.

MDG Facts

The most recent Lebanon MDG report is for the period 2013-2014. According to this report, any progress made towards achieving the MDGs has been significantly challenged by a complex political situation (absence of a government Cabinet for 8 months at the time of writing, and later absence of a president of the republic) and the Syrian crisis, marked by a massive influx of refugees that is particularly affecting the health MDGs. (more…)

SDG 7 – Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All

Opening the Sustainable Development Goal 7 sitting at the September Summit, United Nations Deputy Secretary General Mr. Jan Eliasson spoke of this as the first time the UN agreed on a universal goal.

The SDG 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and Mr. Jan Eliasson insisted on how positive the international body is in ending energy struggles in developing nations before the end of the decade.

He also noted that progress was too slow in some regions, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, but expressed his belief in the foundations already laid and the leaders charged with the responsibility to spearhead implementation of this goal. The UN Deputy Secretary General believes that agreeing on a universal course on energy through SDG 7 is great news not only to the energy community, but also to the whole Sustainable Development agenda, as sustainable energy is needed in the implementation of almost all the other goals in the agenda, from eradicating poverty to fighting climate change.

SDG 8 – Promote Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment for All

With over 2 billion people living below the $2 poverty line, and eradication of this being only possible through creation of stable and well-paying employment opportunities, one of the Sustainable Development Goals as set by the UN during the September global summit in New York is to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

Creating employment and ensuring sustainable economic growth is a dream the modern world has been trying to turn into reality for a long time but no noteworthy progress has been made so far. The number of jobs and the number of people employed is increasing, but so does the population. The population is actually growing more rapidly than job opportunities, and thus the proportion of employed people is falling.

The following targets regarding Sustainable Development Goal 8 were set by the UN to be met by 2030:

1. Sustain per capita economic growth with respect to national circumstances and, particularly, at least 7 percent GDP growth per annum in developing countries, especially the least developed countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. By increasing the productivity of all working persons at individual levels, the total productivity will follow suit and economic growth will take a new pace. This can best be achieved by ensuring all employed and potential workers are equipped with the best and up to date skills on their fields of specialisation.

SDG 6 – Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for All

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all by 2030. Clean water for drinking and domestic use has been a long-term challenge in developing countries mainly due to lack of sufficient material to make available water safe for domestic use, and partly due to the dry settings of some of these countries where fresh water sources are scarce.

Apparently, 71% of the total earth surface is covered with water, a reality the UN, through its SDG 6, wants to make the most of. Of course not all of this water is clean enough for consumption and general domestic use – as only 2.5% of it is fresh – but then, according to a new Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report, there is enough fresh water, if well exploited, to comfortably sustain every living creature on earth.

The report however issues a warning that the situation might worsen due to overconsumption, and that by 2050, one in four people is likely to live in a geographical location affected by recurring or chronic shortage of fresh water.

SDG 5 – Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls

Gender equality is a right as fundamental as any other in the national and international bills of rights, because in the long run, discrimination against a gender consequently breeds violation of the discriminated persons’ other basic rights such as education and expression.

It is a necessary piece in the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous world, and its observation can help fuel economic growth and benefit societies and the human race at large.

At the September 2015 global summit held in New York, Gender Equality and Girl and Women Empowerment was the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5) discussed and the following targets were set with regard to achievement of the goal by 2030:

1. End all forms of gender inequality, particularly discrimination against women and girls, all over the world. While there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of women who are fully enjoying their rights in most countries in developing regions, the UN still believes total eradication of discrimination against girls and women is an achievable goal. In developed nations too, there have been a few cases of gender inequality, particularly in the form of domestic violence, but this has been left to respective governments to deal with.

SDG 4 – Improve Quality of Education and Promote Lifelong Learning

Ensuring quality and inclusive education for all and promoting lifelong learning is the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations’ new SDG 2030 agenda as was set by international leaders during the September global summit.

In a century where education is the paramount aspect of every facet of life, some people can still not access quality formal education because either it’s not available in their geographic locations, they cannot afford it, or they do not see the essence of it.

Most developing countries are facing this challenge, and though the ratio of the educated to the uneducated has been on a gradual upsurge lately, the current number of uneducated persons in the world is still unbearably colossal.

The following are the SDG 4 targets:

1. Ensure that all children, both boys and girls, enrol in and complete free, quality and equitable primary and secondary education.

The UN plans to achieve this by pushing governments of developing countries into allocating more funds towards the education sector so that free, or at least affordable, education can be made available, more schools and classes can be built, more qualified teachers can be hired and reading and writing materials can be obtained.

MDG Progress Report of Europe and the CIS in 2015

The pan-European region is highly diverse, and includes the high income economies of Western Europe, which are also key Official Development Assistance (ODA) donors; middle-income emerging donors from Central Europe, which have joined the European Union; and a group of 18 ODA eligible nations, half of which are classified as landlocked developing countries with a few being low-income nations and having similar characteristics to the least developed countries.

SDG 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

As one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN at the September 2015 global summit held in New York, SDG 3 – better health care and general well-being has always been a major challenge, especially in the developing world.

Workers in various industries that are supposed to propel economic growth can only maximise their productivity if they are physically well and fit to comfortably handle their jobs’ magnitudes. The rest of the SDGs, which are all aimed at fuelling economic growth in the long run, thus somewhat depend on the implementation of this goal.

The UN’s target is to attain sustainable health care and general well-being for all by 2030, and here are the targets set with regard to the goal:

1. Reduce the number of maternal deaths to less than 70 in 100,000 live births.

2. Eradicate preventable newborn and under-five mortality, with each country to cut neonatal deaths to less than 12 per and under-five mortality to 25 per 1,000 live births.

3. Prevent hepatitis, communicable diseases and water-borne diseases and completely do away with tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria and other tropical diseases.

SDG 2 – End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

During the September 2015 Sustainable Development Summit, hunger and food insecurity was one of the key topics of discussion, producing the SDG 2 – End Hunger and Achieve Food Security. Some targets were laid for this Sustainable Development Goal in a bid to achieve by 2030, to support some of the 1996 World Food Summit goals that never came to mature.

1. End the global hunger crisis and ensure all people, especially the poor, have access to sufficient and nutritious food.

The United Nations does not view hunger as just the scarcity of food but also as the inability of individuals to obtain what the FAO refers to as nutritious food. Most families in the Sub-Saharan region cannot afford a balanced diet more than twice in a week, something the UN believes is the main culprit behind malnutrition in the region. The plans are thus that as much as access to food is the main goal, access to right foods be given equal attention.

MDG Progress Report of Asia and the Pacific in 2015

With some of the world’s most dynamic economies, and more than half of the global population, Asia and the Pacific region has helped drive the world towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs have made a significant contribution to the growth of Asia-Pacific by helping to direct attention and resources towards common objectives, which has, in turn, spurred action and achievement on a wide range of vital issues. Across the region, governments acknowledge the value of having a clear set of goals, and many have incorporated the MDGs framework into their national development planning.