Pakistan way off track on Millennium Development Goals

Published: April 24, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Despite spending Rs4.06 trillion since 2012-13, Pakistan has failed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in health, education, social welfare and other areas, as progress on 24 indicators was way off track with only four appearing achievable.

Documents and statistics of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and the Ministry of Finance portray a depressed picture of the country, as it failed to achieve most of the goals despite spending trillions of rupees by the incumbent government and its predecessor.

More funds promised for education, health sectors

The MDG targets come from the Millennium Declaration signed by 189 countries, including 147 heads of state and government in September 2000. The MDGs have officially ended in 2015, but MDGs acceleration framework will continue till 2018.

“Pakistan adopted 16 targets and 41 indicators against which progress towards achieving eight goals of MDGs is measured,” the planning ministry documents suggest.

It adds Pakistan’s progress in 24 indicators was way off track and it had only achieved four targets. “Seen in the regional context, Pakistan’s performance on MDGs remained less satisfactory as compared to other countries,” it states.


According to the Ministry of Finance, since FY2012-13, a total of Rs4.06 trillion have been spent in five major sectors at the federal and provincial levels till the ongoing fiscal year.

The governments have spent Rs206.7 billion for water supply and sanitation; Rs2.58 trillion – the highest amongst all sectors – for education. About Rs974.3 billion has been spent on health; Rs47.5 billion for population and planning – the lowest – and Rs244.9 million for social security and welfare.

Despite the failures, as per the figures, the governments have been increasing the budget to achieve the goals as the expenditure was Rs707 billion for the said areas in FY2012-13 that had surged to Rs1,144.2 billion in FY2015-16 while the current government has spent Rs473 billion till December 2016.

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Provincially, Punjab had the highest number of expenditure in the said period at Rs1,592 billion followed by other provinces with total expenditure of Rs663.6 billion.


Of the seven goals the government had set nationally, it was on track for only four targets. Provincial-wise, Punjab has achieved one-third of the universal primary education goal and one-fifth on reduction of child mortality while it missed the rest of the goals.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh have also achieved marginal achievement in those goals. Sindh was one-fifth successful in achieving the goal of reducing the child mortality rate while it was off track in the rest of the goals.

Interestingly, the data of two important goals — combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and ensuring environment sustainability — was not provided by all the four provinces, as per the document.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Billa
    Apr 24, 2017 - 9:28AM

    Thanks to all the politicians in government or opposition who engineer crisis, create chaos and anarchy to shift focus from development work to political bickering and playing blame games.Recommend

  • Arif Mohammed
    Apr 24, 2017 - 9:41AM

    Pakistan has Nukes and missiles, that’s more important.Recommend

  • Saqib
    Apr 24, 2017 - 10:50AM

    Not sure about publication of this article now as MDGs target year was 2015. Everyone in the world knows that Pakistan and majority developing counties were failed to achieve MDGs by the target year. UN adopted SDGs to be achieved by 2030.

    According to the Wold Bank MDG Progress Status majority of developing countries including India and others in SouthAsia showed insufficient progress or were seriously off targets. Thought some countries achieved targets. So, majority of the developing counties were in the same boast as far MDGs were concerned. Lets monitor achievements towards SDGs! Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Apr 24, 2017 - 12:40PM

    Come on, I am sure both Nawaz Sharif and Zardari achieved their own MDGs in flying colors.Recommend

  • Menon
    Apr 24, 2017 - 3:04PM

    It should read, “despite pocketing $4.06 trillion instead”.

    Look in Swiss banks, French Rivera, Abu Dabi, Panama and London for the money.Recommend

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