Asia and the Pacific
Asia and the Pacific
July 27, 2017
Asia and the Pacific has led the world in the drive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 per day projected to fall from 53% in 1990 to 12% by the end of the year.
The final assessment of regional progress towards the MDGs presents an optimistic picture of how far the region has come. Yet, it underlines the crucial need to address ongoing challenges in the post-2015 development agenda.
The report notes that technology will play a key role in the post-2015 era. It calls for developed countries to provide easy access to new technologies, and stresses the importance of developing and adapting technologies available in the region.
The report, jointly published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), comes at a critical point, as the United Nations transitions from the development focused MDGs to a post-2015 development agenda.
To maintain the momentum for the post-2015 agenda, the report notes, the region will need to address three key areas of implementation: extending the benefits of technology to all, mobilizing the necessary financial resources, and building statistical systems that can monitor the progress of the poorest groups to ensure that no one is left behind.
The report shows that between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of the region’s population living on less than $1.25 per day fell from 53 to 14 percent, and by 2015 it is projected to fall to 12 percent. In addition to the dramatic drop in poverty level, more than two-thirds of countries are expected to halve the proportion of the population without access to safe drinking water by 2015. Nearly all primary-aged children now complete school, and students at all levels of education benefit from gender parity.
Even for some of the targets that have not been achieved, there have been impressive advances. For instance, the rates of under-five and infant mortality fell short of the required two-thirds reduction, but passed the 50 percent mark. Often the most rapid progress was registered in countries that started furthest behind.
In some instances, where goals have been met, there is still much progress to be made, and several goals continue to lag behind. In 2012, 569 million people were still living on less than $1.25 per day, 21 million children were not enrolled in primary school, and more than one-fifth of under-five children - 75 million - were underweight. In addition, 1.2 billion people in rural areas, and 480 million in urban areas, still lacked access to basic sanitation.
- Between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of the region’s population living on less than $1.25 per day fell from 53 to 14 %, and is expected to fall to 12% by end 2015.
- More than two-thirds of countries are expected to halve the proportion of the population without access to safe drinking water by 2015.
- The rates of under-five and infant mortality fell short of the required two-thirds reduction, but passed the 50 percent mark