21 September 2010
Cape Verde on track to end poverty and meet most Millennium Development Goals (MDGs )
United Nations Development Programme
Cape Verde’s poverty rates have fallen substantially over time, and the island-nation remains on track to meet most of the MDG’s, particular those related to poverty eradication, health, education and gender.
The country has already nearly halved the proportion of people living in extreme poverty, as well as the proportion of people living below the minimum level of dietary consumption. It has managed to successfully overcome its “double insularity” – it is far from its African neighbors, and individual islands are far from each other –especially in regard to the cost of basic economic inputs, transportation and communications, through good governance, proper management of internal and external resources, and strong global partnerships.
Cape Verde’s 2008 and 2010 MDG reports indicated that the country is rapidly approaching the goal of achieving universal primary education. UN partnership, particularly through a 31-year national school feeding program that the government of Cape Verde has just taken over in August, 2010, has been a key factor in allowing Cape Verdean families to send their children to primary school.
“Without the work of WFP, the school meals programme would not exist,” said the Cape Verdean Prime Minister, José Maria Neves. “School meals allow us to improve children’s nutrition, which adds to the development of human capital in Cape Verde. This is a strong investment in the future.”
Meanwhile, the government has continued its overall push to strengthen education at all levels in Cape Verde: Enhanced vocational training will be tailored to market demands, and the expansion of university education will permit many more Cape Verdean high school graduates to continue their education in-country.
More Success in Cape Verde
Cape Verde has achieved gender parity in primary and secondary education and the attendance rate of girls is higher than that of boys.
The country is on track to meet MDG five – reducing infant mortality from 57 deaths per 1000 births in 1995 to 21 in 2010. This is largely due to doubling the percentage of births attended by a skilled health professionals and improving programmes that address overall health and nutrition for pregnant women
An increased national push to identify and vaccinate children in more isolated regions of Cape Verde (with support from the UN) resulted in vaccination rates increasing in one year from 73 % in 2008 to 94.4% in 2009. Greater use of awareness raising campaigns sensitized families to issues related to child health, and the government moved aggressively to bring primary health services closer to its citizens, so that now 76% of Cape Verdean families live within 30 minutes of a health center.
Access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been extended to 90 percent national coverage.
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