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Third National Report on Millennium Development Goals in Moldova: progress achieved, remaining issues and future options

Third National Report on Millennium Development Goals in Moldova: progress achieved, remaining issues and future options

The Third National Report on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) presents the progress made by Moldova in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals during 2010-2013 and identifies issues faced by the country two years before the deadline set for achievement of the objectives. 

The National Report developed by the Government of Moldova with the support of the United Nations, presents the solutions and options Moldova has to accelerate positive developments while looking beyond 2015 to identify the priorities for the long-term development agenda.

„Republic of Moldova has made tangible progress in reduicing poverty and infrant mortality  and ensuring access to compulsory education”, says Prime Minister Iurie Leanca in the Foreword of the National Report. „At the same time, the Government acknowledges the discrepancy in development
between urban and rural areas, and the all too frequent marginalization of small towns in terms of access to economic opportunities and clean water, healthcare and quality education. A number of strategic planning documents, such as the National Decentralization Strategy adopted in 2012, have sought to address these problems in conjunction with the Strategy of Agriculture and Rural Development of Moldova which will be implemented starting with 2014”.

The Millennium Development Goals Report shows that Moldova has made remarkable progress across most of MDGs, notably in reducing poverty, improving access to education and reducing child mortality, however there are certain concerns regarding weak progress under some MDGs. Furthermore, ensuring that this progress provides equitable and just outcomes for all Moldovan people will remain a paramount priority in the future.. The Report also communicates openly and objectively progress made so far and what remains to be done to achieve each of the eight Millennium Development Goals.

After an introduction on the national development context, highlighting the global issues and the domestic challenges, the authors of the report show that the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger has so far been a  success but also underline certain equity concerns. “The poverty incidence at the international threshold of 4.3 USD steeply decreased from 34.5% in 2006 to 20.8% in 2012 (the final target being 23.0%)”, the Report shows. However, “despite the outstanding decrease of the poverty incidence, unfortunately over half a million of citizens still consider themselves poor”.

In the area of achieving universal access to general compulsory education, where Moldova “has made certain progress”, for instance by increasing continuously child enrolment in preschool education, “there are still some issues related to access to and quality of education”. The level of population literacy has been rather high and stable in the recent years, representing 99.4% in 2012, which virtually corresponds to the MDG target of 99.5%, the Report notes. At the same time, acknowledging that Moldova has already a high rate of enrolment in general education, “we should acknowledge that there still is some room for improvement in the education sector”.  

The authors of the National Report consider gender equality promotion and women empowerment as “a real chance to accelerate development”. Progress in this area consists in a trend of increase of the number of women in decision-making positions at local level: among elected mayors – from 18.15% in 2007 to 18.51% in 2011, among local councillors – from 26.5% to 28.71%, and among district councillors – from 16.48% to 18.39%. On the other hand, despite the progress, “women are still underrepresented in the electoral, political, and decision-making processes”; the percentage of women holding public offices is 25.4%, that of women holding high level public leading positions – 30%, and special status public positions – 15.8%. Thus, these figures are “far from reflecting the demographic structure of the population where women represent 51.9% and men – 48.1% of the population”. 

In the context of reducing child mortality, the Report reveals “an important progress that needs to be maintained”: in 2012, for the first time in the history of Moldova, the child mortality rate was lower than 10 deaths per 1000 live births (more exactly – 9.8, while the target for 2015 is 13.2), and the mortality of children under 5 years has also decreased stably since 2009, reaching 12.1 deaths per 1000 live births in 2012. In this line, the authors underline that, first of all, cooperation with “development partners and the continuation of the recent efforts are the main premises to ensure sustainability and amplify the successes achieved”.

Progress in achieving the objective of improving maternal health in Moldova is associated by the authors of the Report with an “erratic progress, and uncertain prospects”. “During the past two decades, the situation has improved considerably and the value of the main indicator – maternal mortality rate – moved close to the average for the European continent (15.31 compared to 11.57 in 2012). At the same time, the maternal mortality rate remains approximately 3 times higher than the average for the EU states (15.31 compared to 5.8)”, the National Report states.

The achievement of the objective of combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases is “very challenging” as “both targets set for 2010 regarding HIV/AIDS have been missed significantly (general incidence – 17.1 instead of 9.6 and incidence among young people – 21.6 instead of 11.2)”. However, the recent policy developments offer big hope for future progress in combating HIV infections and TB. “The authorities, jointly with the development partners, have identified the current challenges and developed cost-effective tools to address them”, the Third National Report on Millennium Development Goals notes.

In the section dedicated to ensuring environmental sustainability, the Report launched in Chisinau calls for “a better balance between society and environment”. “Moldova has made progress in achieving some of the MDG7 indicators, however strong efforts are still needed to ensure quality and sustainability”, the Report states. It underlines that the final target of increasing the share of the state-protected areas (to 4.65%) was achieved already in 2006, “however, insufficient financial and human resources are allotted for the development of the management system, maintenance and management of the protection regimes”. At the same time, the proportion of population with sustainable access to improved water sources in Moldova was 62% in 2012 compared to the target of 65%. Acknowledging that “environmental issues are dependent on the evolvement of other Millennium Development Goals”, the authors of the Report list among the possible opportunities and success factors “the promotion and deepening of active participation of the entire population in environmental protection”, which “is a major way to settle environmental issues”.

Progress made by Moldova in developing a global partnership for development is satisfactory, the report asserts, although “not all relevant indicators have registered positive trends”. Moldova had a positive evolvement in building an information society: the mobile telephony penetration rate reached the level of 114.6% in 2012 compared to 37.8% in 2006, the final target being set at 75.6%. “On the negative balance – target no. 1 “Developing a transparent trade and financial system based on rules, predictable and non-discriminatory by promoting exports and attracting investments” – has supported a certain regress as a result of foreign economic shocks and the domestic challenges faced by businesses”, the Report says. Therefore, in this chapter, the Report calls for “a more advantageous integration in the global economy”.

Apart from an analysis of the progress and the existing issues, the third National Report on the Millennium Development Goals sends some messages focused on the main development challenges faced by Moldova, which may be summarised as follows: “Two parallel realities: the rural life and the urban life”; “Emigration – a two-side phenomenon”; “Technologies: the main driver of change”; “From a patriarchal society to a modern one: different opportunities depending on the gender”.


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