Millennium Development Goals

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1. ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER

The faces of poverty in Lebanon:

Poverty in Lebanon is tragically illustrated through the lives of the millions of Syrian refugees that fled in order to escape the violence of the Syrian Civil War that is currently raging in their country. While these refugees are just thankful for the safety and protection Lebanon provides they continue to suffer because of the shortage of critical resources at their disposal such as food and water as well as poor, cramped living conditions.

Meet Bushra, a former resident of Syria that arrived in Lebanon under the cover of night seeking protection from her war torn country after her husband of five years went missing. Bushra was not only concerned for her personal safety, but also the safety of her two young children, son Sleiman and daughter Hanin. Shortly after entering Lebanon Bushra registered as the one millionth refugee.

One in a Million

Bushra

Read more about Bushra’s story by clicking here.

OR

Watch her story unfold in the short video below!

2. Achieve universal primary education

In Lebanon since the end of the war in 1991 there has been huge progress in the primary education system. Enrollment in pre-school education has risen to more than 74%. And primary education is now almost universal in Lebanon. As of 2006 the enrollment rate in Lebanon in primary education was at 97.1%.

In secondary education the level of enrollment is up to 86% if students that complete primary education. 50% of the enrollment is at private institutions. And girls make up 50% of the enrollment in secondary education.

3. Promote gender equality and empower women

There have been leaps and bounds made in this development goal. Illiteracy rate dropped 10% from 1990 to 2003. Primary school enrollement rose 13% from 1990 to 2003. From 2000 to 2005 the number of women in parliament rose from 3 to 6. And in 2004 two women held Ministerial positions for the first time ever.

In recent years there have been a large number of women involved in politics. Specifically the number of women that hold positions as judges is about 42% of the judges being women.

4. Reduce child mortality

Lebanon is in the process of improving their child mortality. The most recent study I could find shows that between the years of 1996 to 2004 the number of children that die in infancy has lowered by about 10 infants per 1000. This is a pretty big improvement but it is still fairly high at 18.6 infants per 1000 dying. And currently the number is expected to be at 8 by 2015.

5. Improve maternal health

Lebanon has made significant progress when it comes to improving maternal health. From 1990 to 2013 the number of mothers that die due to poor maternal health has decreased by 5.8%.From the years of 1996 to 2000 the number of maternal deaths dropped from 140 to 107 respectively.  Also the number of skilled professionals that are at each birth rose from 93.6% in 1990 to 99.6% in 2013, that is an increase of 6%.

6. Combat HIV/AIDS. malaria, and other diseases

As of 2007 there were 1056 reported cases of AIDS, but it is expected that there are more than 2500 unreported cases. Prevention of the spread of AIDS is not taken very serious as it is expected that use of contraceptives is still relatively low, especially among those who have risky behavior and are young.

At the same time the number of Tuberculosis cases dropped from 983 in 1995 to 375 in 2006. That is a huge improvement and a direct effect of the implementation of the Directly Observed Treatment Short course chemotherapy (DOTS Strategy).

7. Ensure environmental sustainability

This is one of the harder issues for Lebanon to address. It is unsure if they will be able to achieve this goal. There have been significant environmental damages done because of wars that have plagued the Middle East for a number of years. There have been high losses of available water to citizens because of high levels of pollution.

A lot of the water pollution is caused by more than 700 open dumps used and only 50% of the waste is burned.

The land has degraded as well because of a lot of erosion because of the wars that have plagued this region.

8. Global partnership for development

National efforts to build partnerships are critical to the achievement of the MDGs in this globalized world. Central to this has been the process of international donor conferences, the latest of which was Paris III with the overarching objective to help grow, create employment, lower poverty, and maintain social and political stability. Lebanon is really trying to make a top priority to continue to recover and reconstruct their county.

Data is still being collected so as to determine the progress on this MDG. Lebanon is one of the world’s most heavily indebted countries and the economy has gained little from recent violent acts and the general political struggle that persists.

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