Despite some challenges, Bangladesh is on the right track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
According to the government’s “SDG Bangladesh Progress Report-2018”, the country is performing well in various aspects including poverty reduction, gender equality, electricity, sanitation and annual GDP growth.
The report did underscore a need for improved international cooperation and support in order to meet 41 out of the 169 targets that fall within the 17 SDGs.
General Economics Division (GED) Member of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam presented the report Sunday at the NEC Conference Room of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area in the capital.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said that as Bangladesh succeeded in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), similarly it can achieve the SDGs as well. “We have already succeeded in electricity and health sector immensely,” the minister said.
“If private, public and NGOs work together then we can achieve the goal at the definite time. We are performing well in attaining many targets of the SDGs. Now we need support and encouragement,” he added.
The minister said that the report would pave the way for more planned action to implement the goals.
PM’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman emphasised the necessity for utilizing huge foreign aid now in the pipeline by further enhancing the capacity of the executing agencies.
“There are some positive developments on SDGs over the last three years. Bangladesh has a good platform for attaining the goal. Revenue ratio should be increased,” he also said.
Noted economist Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud said this sort of report generates demand for data creation and shows what the shortcomings are and what the present trend is.
“First of all we need to provide quality education. We have to lay emphasis on youth employment, health, increase remittance, technology and industrialization,” he asserted.
Dr Wahiduddin added that the tax-GDP ratio is still not satisfactory and some further challenges need to be overcome in order to make it so.
UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said employment is the biggest challenge for Bangladesh to attaining the SDGs. Enhancing education quality, improving skill level, preventing violence against women, and mitigating impacts of natural disasters are also challenges she pointed out.
She also spoke in favour of greater tolerance by way of human rights, and zero tolerance in the face of corruption.unb