Rural communities throughout the country are ignorant of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and actually confuse them for a new political party, it has emerged.
The Civil Society MDG Coalition (CSMC) that has been carrying out a community awareness programme in rural areas on the MDGs said rural folk were unaware of their meaning.
“Some people in rural areas do not know what MDGs are. People think that it’s a political party. People in rural areas are living in the dark. There is no effort to enlighten people,” said Hilda Makamure, a CSMC member.
“We have gone into rural communities and met with the people and they have shown that they are not aware of MDGs. As long as we do not co-operate, there is a danger that we will not meet the MDGs.”
MDGs are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.
They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as Aids, and developing a global partnership for development.
Zimbabwe, like other UN member states, has pledged to achieve eight goals by the year 2015.
Because of economic challenges there are dangers that the country may be unable to meet its target.
UN resident coordinator Alain Noudehou said Zimbabwe like other countries had its challenges in meeting the goals.
“For Zimbabwe the main shortcomings are in areas such as eradication of extreme poverty, maternal health, and child mortality. The challenging economic environment of the past decade has not helped matters, and has served to reverse some of the accomplishments that were gained.
“The current recovery and development effort will need to be sustained and increased if we are to see true changes in people’s lives by 2015,” said Noudehou.
His remarks come at a time when at least 100 children are dying daily from preventable diseases.
The MDGs that the country has to meet are to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality; improve maternal health, combat HIV and Aids, malaria and other diseases; ensure environment sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.