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Report says Belize met most of Millennium Development Goals (MDG), poverty still high

Wednesday, November 11, 2015.  Aaron Humes Reporting: With approximately 40-45% of Belizeans living either poor or indigent despite real economic growth, the target to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) created by the United Nations 15 years ago has not been met, as cited in a report obtained by Amandala.United nations

The MDG Report/Post-2015 agenda says the better-than-average economic growth has not translated into tangible reductions in poverty levels; the impact of the conditional cash transfer and food pantry programs for sustaining a reduction in poverty remains unknown, according to the report.

However, there is good news for Belize in meeting the other goals, such as the achievement of universal education including making primary education accessible to all children and the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women.

Belize is said to have met the target for the reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health and combating communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS and malaria. Now-CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, quotes figures of 63% reduction in child mortality and 90% immunization against measles, as well as reductions in maternal mortality; however, in 2015 there have been eight deaths of mothers having to do with birth and other complications.

Ensuring environmental sustainability includes keeping down deforestation, which rate is one of the lowest of the region.

The Barrow administration’s restructuring of the “Superbond” of debt has improved the debt profile in meeting the cultivation of a global partnership for development. Technology has been improved but is still limited in some areas.

The report concludes that most of Belize’s progress began in 2007, in the tail end of the Said Musa administration; however poverty and crime combine to have a negative impact on continued achievement because they redirect resources from other sectors.

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