African countries have made steady progress on some of the eight Millennium Development Goals but need to boost the resilience and strength of their poor populations to protect their achievements on these goals, according to a new U.N. report.
The report, dubbed “Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium Development Goals,” says recent food, financial and fuel crises, instability, and climate change threats in North Africa are likely to affect the continent’s progress towards the MDG. Social protection programs such as school feeding initiatives, pensions and safety nets for the poor are key to protecting this progress, the report adds.
“We urge policy-makers to recalibrate their social protection programs, so that they are perceived not as handouts but rather as measures to strengthen productive assets,” the report’s authors note.
The report was prepared by the U.N. Development Program, U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the African Union. It lauds Africa’s performance on key MDG targets such as primary enrollment, child immunization, curbing HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis, gender equality, and women’s representation in decision making.
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