1 February 2013

Liberia: MDGs Should Emphasize Rebuilding Social Services

Photo: Boakai Fofana/allAfrica.com
A busy Monrovia street.


The Second UN High Level Meeting on the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda beyond 2015 is ongoing in the Liberian Capital, Monrovia.

The meeting of the High Level Panel (HLP) will run from 30 January to February 2, 2013 on the theme "National building blocks for sustained prosperity."

British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf are expected are co-chair of the conference.

The Monrovia Meeting will seek, amongst other priorities to discuss, debate and refine a narrative document, which will set out a vision for future development. The document will be based on the Panel's responses to the framing questions, including the Co-Chair's paper.

The Document Identifies the key challenges facing economic growth, transformation, and the national-level building blocks required to achieve sustained prosperity. The meeting will also identify how the outcomes of the Monrovia gathering will feed into the fourth HLP meeting slated for Bali, Indonesia in March 2013 and into the final HLP report.

However, Three Years remaining to the 2015 target date for reaching the Millennium Development Goals, there are still apprehensions in Africa whether the continent has made significant progress towards the various targets of the MDGs. Notwithstanding, it is suffice to say that Africa's progress towards the various targets of the MDGs appears to be mixed.

Some Countries In Africa have made significant progress in certain indicators while report continues to highlight the decline in areas such as malaria, HIV, poverty, primary education, representation of women in decision making, the environment, and immunization coverage, among others.

In Liberia, The government has made substantial progress in the areas of malaria control and eradication, HIV Aids, immunization coverage and primary education. However, we wish to pinpoint specifically that Liberia is struggling to address the issue of poverty eradication which has become a political issue despite the presence of multi-national companies with an estimated value of several billion dollars.

Interestingly, Liberia Is not the only country facing poverty eradication problem. As a matter of fact, most war countries, including Liberia have got to face the phenomenal task in rebuilding social services following years of wars. Also, there are serious concerns in areas such as representation of women in decision making, child and maternal mortality, access to sanitation, and basic social services continue to be major challenges that may extend beyond 2015 (as much as the UN envision a plan by 2015).

The Reality Is rebuilding social services in most poverty stricken African countries such as Liberia - after years of armed conflicts - is seriously a herculean task.

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