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Latest News

According to the draft Health Service Development Plan (HSDP) joint UNDP and Ministry of Heath report of 2005, the per capita health service expenditure of Ethiopia is rated at 5.9 US dollars, the least among a list of other developing countries such as Kenya (31 USD), Uganda(18 USD), and Tanzania(8 USD). The report also indicated that in order to meet MDGs Ethiopia needs to increase the health service expenditure to 34 USD.

Despite various attempts at poverty reduction, maternal and child mortality rates still are high among sub- Sahara African countries and unemployment in urban areas is rife. Per capita health expenditure of the population is low.

Although Ethiopia has shown significant progress in primary education, it has yet to speed up the pace in order to attain the second of the MDGs, which is achievement of universal primary education.

According to the 2006 report of the United Nations, primary enrollment more than doubled from 22pc in 1990 to 47pc in 2004 due to large scale investments in government schools. However, the increase in enrollment needs to be matched by proportional increases in teaching staff and materials to guarantee adequate quality of education.

Where as the vision of MDGs was eradicating extreme poverty, improving health service, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing global partnership; the eminent international and local market pressures are making the poor poorer than ever before and Ethiopians are part of them,” Salil told Fortune on March 24, at the Poverty Action Network Ethiopia (PANE), a civil society network in Ethiopia specialized in engaging civil society orgainsations in the poverty reduction process.

One of the commitments entered by developed countries in relation to MDGs is the relief of poor nations’ debts. Although some countries are canceling the debts of poor nations, the additional loans are causing the debts to pile up further.

“This in turn is practically prompting economic dependency of developing countries on the rich ones,” says Salil.

But Salil also believes that the loans, especially the grants advanced by developed nations, would support Ethiopia in its endeavor to meet the MDGs.

“To my knowledge, Ethiopia is enjoying more grants and loans from its bilateral and multilateral partners,” said the director.

Public relations officer of Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) Getachew Admasu told Fortune that the 2007/2008 loan and grant totalled seven billion birr, out of which 3.84 billion Br is loan and the rest is grant. Where as the total loan and grant (5.6 billion Br) is received from multilateral institution such as International Development Association(IDA), European Union and United Nations Development Program(UNDP); 1.6 billion is obtained from bilateral development partners including Sweden, Ireland , S. Korea, Japan, China, India, and Netherlands.

The MoFED has devised a five years strategy-Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP)-which is the localized version of the MDGs expected to be achieved by 2015. After finalising the first five years if its strategic plan in 2005/2006, it currently is in its second five year strategic plan which will end by 2010/2011.

Salil joined the United Nations in October 2003, as Director of the Millennium Campaign. Prior to joining the UN, he was the Chief Executive of Action Aid, an international development NGO. An Indian National, Salil earned a distinction in Masters of Science in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and has a Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

On his campaign trip, Salil visits Senegal and returns back to his office in New York.

MDGs were declared on September 2000 and adopted by the general assembly of United Nations 8th plenary meeting. It has eight goals that promote human development as the key to sustaining social and economic progress in all countries.