8 Apr 2013

Pacific countries narrowing focus in countdown to MDG deadline

6:17 pm on 8 April 2013

Pacific Island countries are among 45 around the world concentrating their development efforts on areas of highest priority less than 1000 days out from the deadline for the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

The UN launched its 'MDG Momentum: 1000 Days of Action' on April the 5th as a way of making the most progress towards the eight goals, which range from eradicating poverty to creating global development partnerships.

The UN Development Programme's Pacific representative, Knut Ostby, says Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have signed up to the acceleration plan in place until the end of 2015.

"For example, in Tonga, the government has decided that they want to focus on non-communicable diseases, lifestyle issues, problems with diabetes, heart disease etc, which is a significantly growing problem."

Knut Ostby says Vanuatu is focusing on access to reproductive health services and adolescent birthrates and Tuvalu is targeting primary school completion rates.