Asia, home to two-thirds of the world’s poor, plays an indispensable role in attaining the Millennium Development Goals, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said Sept. 22.
“No global effort to achieve the MDGs will succeed unless our region succeeds,” the ADB chief said in his address at the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York earlier this week.
The region, Kuroda said, is on track in reducing extreme income poverty, achieving near universal primary school enrollment, attaining gender parity in education, meeting the target on access to potable water, and curbing the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV. Asia, however, is lagging in the areas of sanitation, infant mortality, literacy and women’s empowerment, he added.
Kuroda urged Asian governments to scale up revenue generation, and focus on social and MDG-related spending, saying that many Asian nations are “clearly spending too little in sectors critical for MDG achievement and in social protection, leaving much of the poorer population vulnerable.”The ADB chief also called for the expansion of regional cooperation in areas of trade, investments, knowledge, and technology to help realize the MDGs.
Meanwhile, the regional lender is providing nearly USD34 million to help Cambodia enhance the management of its water resources and upgrade irrigation services. The project aims to improve national water regulations and the management of river basin resources. It also seeks to assist the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology in rehabilitating small- and medium-sized irrigation systems within the Tonle Sap Basin.
The Fund for International Development of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is also lending USD12 million for the project.