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Women and Children’s Lives Improving in Caucasus and Central Asia: UN report

Region makes progress on Millennium Development Goals for gender equality

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, 1 July 2013 – Countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia continue to advance towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, according to a new UN report.

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013, launched today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva, finds many positive results for the Caucasus and Central Asia region, which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The eight Millennium Development Goals, with a number of sub-targets covering a range of poverty, hunger, health, gender equality, education and environmental indicators, were agreed by all countries as an outgrowth of the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, most with a due date of 2015.

According to the report, the Caucasus and Central Asia region has almost met the target of halving hunger by 2015. The
proportion of undernourished people in the total population has decreased from 13.9 per cent in 1990-1992 to 7.4 per cent in 2010-2012. The region reached the target of halving the proportion of undernourished children, with the proportion of underweight children under age five declining from 14 per cent to 4 per cent from 1990 to 2011.

The report says steady progress has been made in expanding access to primary education in the region, with primary school enrollment rates increasing from 60 per cent to 77 per cent between 2000 and 2011.

Big gains for women and children

The report says that the region continued to advance on promoting gender equality and empowering women, and achieved parity in primary and secondary education between boys and girls. The ratios between the enrollment rate of girls and that of boys are 0.98 per cent and 0.97 in primary and secondary education, respectively, falling within the accepted range for parity. At the post-secondary or tertiary level, more women are enrolled than men.

In the region, parity in the number of women and men holding wage-earning jobs has been nearly achieved, with women
holding 44 out of every 100 wage-earning jobs in the non-agricultural sector in 2011. The report says women in the region are also gaining more power in politics. The proportion of seats held by women in single or lower houses of national parliament increased from 7 per cent in 2000 to 18 per cent in 2013.

The region has one of the lowest maternal mortality ratios among all developing regions – 46 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010. Nearly all mothers – 97 per cent – were attended at birth by skilled health personnel in 2011.The Caucasus and Central Asia region reduced its child mortality rate by 45 per cent between 1990 and 2011. The mortality rate for children under five dropped from 76 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 42 in 2011. However, the report says more needs to be done for the region to reach the MDG target of a two-thirds reduction in the child mortality rate by 2015.

Mixed results on infectious diseases, water and sanitation

In the past decade, the incidence of tuberculosis declined significantly in the Caucasus and Central Asia region, according to the report. The estimated number of new tuberculosis cases, which had increased from 132 to 324 per 100,000 people between 1990 and 1999, dropped sharply to 116 by 2011.

On the negative side, the incidence of HIV has doubled in the region between 2001 and 2011, from 0.03 per 100 people aged 15-49 to 0.06, while it has declined steadily in other developing regions. An estimated 27,000 people were newly infected with HIV in that region in 2011.

Globally, the MDG drinking water target was met five years ahead of schedule. The proportion of people using an improved source of drinking water increased in all regions except the Caucasus and Central Asia, where that rate dropped from 89 per cent in 1990 to 86 per cent in 2011.

On a positive note, the region reached the target of halving the proportion of people without basic sanitation ahead of
schedule. The proportion of the population using an improved sanitation facility, such as latrines or toilets, increased from 91 percent to 96 per cent between 1990 and 2011.

Among developing regions, the Caucasus and Central Asia saw the lowest increase in protected areas, which grew from 2.8 per cent to 3.6 per cent of the land surface between 1990 and 2012. Protected areas, which are dedicated to safeguarding and maintaining biological diversity and natural resources, with their associated cultural value, are used as an indicator of the MDG goal on environmental sustainability.

The Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual assessment of global and regional progress towards the Goals, reflects the most comprehensive, up-to-date data compiled by over 27 UN and international agencies and is produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

A complete set of the data used to prepare the report is available at mdgs.un.org

For more information, press materials and an inter-agency media contact list, see www.un.org/millenniumgoals.

Media contacts

Almaty
United Nations Office
Vlastimil Samek
Email: vlastimil.samek@unic.org
Tel: (+7-727) 258-2643, ext. 1416

New York 
UN Department of Public Information
Wynne Boelt
Email: boelt@un.org
Tel: +1 212 963 8264

Mohsin Mohi-Ud-Din
Email: mohi-ud-din@un.org
Tel: +1 212 963 1044

Issued by the UN Department of Public Information – DPI/2583F

 

 
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