Report acknowledges need for development in Iraq

10 Aug 2010

image Almost a quarter of Iraqis live in poverty spending less than 2,500 Iraqi dinars (2.2 US$) per person/day. Photo: UNDP


BAGHDAD
- In a report published today, the Government of Iraq and the United Nations presented the progress made in a number of areas towards achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Iraq. These areas are: reducing hunger and child mortality and promoting gender equality. However, there is slower progress reported in other crucial areas: enrolment in primary education, unemployment and access to safe and reliable water and sanitation services.

The Government of Iraq and the UN have agreed to boost efforts to address these issues by 2015, the global deadline for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, paying special attention to reducing the gaps between the rural and urban areas.

Dr. Sami Metti, Deputy Minister of Planning, notes that “After decades of economic stagnation, reduced access to essential services due to wars, sanctions and conflicts there is no better means than the achievement of the MDGs to make the lives of millions of Iraqi individuals a better one and Iraq a safe and prosperous country”

“The Millennium Development Goals for Iraq contain a set of key milestones for achieving a better future for the country and its people” said Christine McNab the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. “Supporting Iraq to achieve the MDGs is among the United Nations’ top priorities as this will ensure a better life for millions of Iraqis including those who will make Iraq’s future: the youth and the children” she added.

In September 2000, leaders from 189 Member States in the Millennium Declaration agreed on a vision for the future: a world with less poverty, hunger and disease, greater survival prospects for mothers and their infants, better educated children, equal opportunities for women, and a healthier environment; a world where developed and developing countries would work in close partnership for the well-being of all. This formed the basis of the MDGs which the member states committed to achieve by 2015.

The report “The Millennium Development Goals in Iraq” is part of an outreach campaign launched by the UN and the Government of Iraq to promote and raise awareness of the importance of the MDGs as part of the development efforts agreed upon in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2011 - 2014) signed in May this year. “Over the coming five years we will work closely with the Government of Iraq and key partners including civil society, academia and the private sector to promote the MDGs and raise awareness on the importance of achieving them in line with Iraq’s national priorities” concluded Ms. McNab.

The report’s key points:

  • Almost a quarter of Iraqis live in poverty spending less than 2,500 Iraqi dinars (2.2 US$) per person / day
  • Youth unemployment is 30% double the national average

  • Women’s share of wage employment outside agriculture fell from 11% to 7% by 2008.

  • More than half of Iraqi children do not complete their primary education on time

  • The proportion of children dying before reaching the age of five has fallen from 62 to 41 per 1,000 live births.

  • Despite the progress achieved in reducing child mortality, Iraq remains the second highest country when compared with countries in the region

  • Just  a quarter of households in Iraq is covered by the public sewage system dropping to 2% in rural areas

  • More than 80% of Iraq’s water remains untreated which leads to increased pollution of Iraq’s wastewater

  • Only 6% of Iraqis use the internet daily while more than 75% use mobile telephony

The report contains a series of maps and graphs with analysis on the progress Iraq has made towards achieving the MDGs. All these maps are available for the public use on condition of giving credit to the UN Country Team in Iraq.

Contact Information

Juliette Touma
UN Country Team in Iraq
toumaj@un.org,
+962 776 729 707

The UN Country Team in Iraq has dedicated a web-page with information on the MDGs
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