Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Indonesian budget watchdog says country far from meeting MDG's

An Indonesian non-governmental group is being critical of it's government's spending to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The NGO called the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency says there has been no decrease of the poverty rate despite a tripling of the budget.

From the Jakarta Globe, reporter Anita Rachman attended the NGO's press conference.

Nine years after Indonesia took up the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, the country still had a long way to go in proving its commitment to achieving the targets, especially in the areas of health, poverty eradication and the environment, a representative of a nongovernmental group said on Tuesday.

Yuna Farhan, secretary general of the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency, or Fitra, said that the country’s annual budget increases had not seen more funds allocated for those three areas.

“The government has shown little attention to the MDGs, especially on health, poverty and environmental issues,” he said at a press briefing with representatives of several NGOs, including the Association for Community Empowerment and the Indonesian Women’s Coalition for Justice and Democracy.

The MDGs were included in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which was signed by 189 heads of state and affirmed at a summit in 2005.

Indonesia has only six years left to achieve the eight targets of the program: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; ensuring environmental sustainability; and establishing a global partnership for development.

The group of NGOs evaluated the government’s work over the past five years and only found improvements in the education sector and in child mortality.

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