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Malawi reports SDGs progress

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MUNTHALI—Malawi has registered progress

Malawi on Thursday presented its progress report on the implementation of Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable development.

The presentation was made in form of a Voluntary National Review (VNR) mechanism, a process through which countries assess themselves and present their progress in achieving the SDG to fellow member states.

Presenting Malawi’s first-ever VNR report via video conferencing, National Planning commission Director General, Thomas Munthali, said Malawi has registered progress in a number of goals while there is still a lot to be done in other goals.

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According to the VNR report, after five years of SDGs implementation, Malawi is making significant progress on 29 of the 169 targets, which represents 17 percent.

The report adds that Malawi is making moderate progress with performance gaps on 59 of the targets (35 percent) and shows insufficient to no policy change or otherwise poor performance on 81 of the targets (48 percent).

“The 29 targets on which the Malawi is making significant progress include SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), Target 3.2, under-five mortality rates are significantly declining and likely to be met; SDG 4 (Education for All), Target 4.5, gender parity in primary schools is already equal to parity, Net Enrollment in Primary Schools is close to target.

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“Targets on which the country is making moderate progress includes SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), despite significant progress through reduction and turning the curve on child malnutrition indicators (stunting, underweight, and wasting),” the VNR says.

It further notes that Malawi is experiencing insufficient long-term progress on, among others, SDG 1 (eradicating poverty and ending all its forms), with many of its targets being among those showing negative trends.

“The proportion of the population below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day is high estimated at 71.4 percent in 2016. More than half the population (51.5 percent) is living below the national poverty line (NSO, IHS4 2017). However, the rate of extreme poverty has registered some rapid fall from 24.5 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2017.

“Malawi has developed and is currently implementing the National Social Support Programme II (2018-2023) through the flagship unconditional Malawi Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) that targets the poorest 10 percent of households that are ultra-poor and at the same time labour-constrained,” the report says.

Munthali said government has put in place mechanisms to ensure that national development plans are being implemented to realise the 2030 agenda as specified in the 17 sustainable development goals which was agreed in September 2015.

UN-Malawi Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, said Malawi’s first VNR is a demonstration of the Government of Malawi’s commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Torres said Malawi domesticated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its current national development plan, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III which is running from 2017 to 2022, to accelerate the pace of economic growth and wealth creation for the citizens of Malawi.

“The MGDS III has been instrumental in facilitating SDG implementation, monitoring and reporting. Furthermore, the Government of Malawi, through Annual SDG reviews, has demonstrated its commitment to implement and regularly report on progress and achievements of the 2030 Agenda,” Torres said.

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