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Cablegate: Ethiopia: Conference Examines Progress Toward Mdgs

VZCZCXRO5583
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2381/01 2110749
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300749Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7222
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC 0058
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002381

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E AND AF/EPS
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID KMCA ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: CONFERENCE EXAMINES PROGRESS TOWARD MDGS

ADDIS ABAB 00002381 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) SUMMARY: At a half-day seminar, GOE and NGO officials
discussed Ethiopia's progress towards achieving the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). Participants highlighted that Ethiopia
had integrated and streamlined MDGs into national development
polices and programs, such as the 2002-2005 Sustainable Development
for Poverty Reduction (SDPRP) and the 2005-2010 long-term Plan for
Accelerated and Sustained Growth to End Poverty (PASDEP). The
conference concluded that many countries in Africa are not likely to
meet the MDGs; GOE officials stated that while Ethiopia's progress
to date was in line with MDG targets, current efforts had to be
doubled for Ethiopia to meet the MDGs by 2015. While Ethiopia's
recent achievements are encouraging, Ethiopia's human development
indicators remain low, and the country continues to face major
challenges and constraints in the provision of basic services.
Ethiopia's strengthening of policies--in sectors such as health,
education, and water and sanitation--has led to an improvement in
some of the human development indicators, albeit from a low base
line. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) The July 13 conference was organized by the Ethiopian
International Institute for Peace and Development (EIIPD), an
Ethiopian NGO led by Professor Kinfe Abraham. Kinfe discussed the
MDGs' adoption by the September 2000 UN Millennium Summit in New
York, and how monitoring mechanisms included progress report from
the UN Secretary-General to the UN General Assembly. He noted that
Ethiopia was one of five countries selected to review its progress
towards achieving the MDGs.

-----------------------------------
GOE'S 5-YEAR PLAN IN LINE WITH MDGS
-----------------------------------

3. (U) Getachew Adem, Head of the Planning and Research Department
of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
(MOFED), said that as the GOE's primary role was fighting poverty,
it had welcomed the development of the MDGs in 2000 and had
integrated them into various national policies and programs,
including the medium-term SDPRP and long-term PASDEP plans and
programs. The five-year PASDEP, now in its third-year of
implementation, focused on building implementation capacity,
accelerating economic growth, addressing population pressure,
unleashing the potential of Ethiopian women, improving
infrastructure, enhancing human development, and managing risks.
MDG targets tracked with these PASDEP objectives, so implementation
of the PASDEP would mean progress in the MDGs. Getachew asserted
that performance indicators to date--in terms of poverty; expansion
in education, health, and water supply coverage; and others--were in
line with PASDEP and MDG targets. However, challenges included a
decline in external inflows, regional disparity, as well as quality
problems in education and health services. He concluded that if
current efforts were doubled in the remaining eight years, Ethiopia
would meet MDG targets by 2015.

4. (U) Dr. Hailesellasie Equbagizi, representing WHO, said that
while health indicators-- including under-five mortality, maternal
mortality, and HIV/AIDS prevalence--were encouraging, progress to
date suggested a long way to go to meet the MDGs.

5. (U) Dr. Yemane, a Columbia University researcher, presented a
progress report on the Millennium Village Project in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia was one of ten countries selected for this pilot project.
The project in Ethiopia was started at Korora village, to improve
health services, water supply, education, and other services for
5,000 beneficiaries, but had since expanded to ten more villages
encompassing over 50,000 beneficiaries. While the project was
improving the lives of beneficiaries, it was too early to assess its
success or failure.

6. (SBU) COMMENT. Prof. Kinfe Abraham's EIIPD is an Ethiopian NGO
that conducts training for the Ethiopian foreign ministry (MFA), and
whose conclusions may reflect those of the GOE. For example, the
Transitional Federal Government of Somalia's (TFG) Ambassador to
Ethiopia and PermRep to the African Union was a featured speaker at
an EIIPD workshop earlier this earlier, which explained Ethiopian
national interests motivating Ethiopia's military intervention in
Somalia.

---------------------------------------
COMMENT: IMPROVEMENT FROM LOW BASE LINE
---------------------------------------

7. (SBU) COMMENT CONTINUED. While Ethiopia's MDGs are streamlined
into its national development policies and programs, the challenges
to meeting those goals are great, and include the quality of
education and health services, disparities among Ethiopia's regions,
the country's dependence on foreign inflows, low implementation
capacity, and resource gaps.

ADDIS ABAB 00002381 002.2 OF 002

8. (U) The GOE's commitment to poverty reduction and to the MDGs is
evidenced by the continuous rise in pro-poor expenditure, and in the
strengthening of policies in key pro-poor sectors, such as health,
education, and water and sanitation. This, and increased spending
on poverty-oriented sectors in the context of macro-economic
stability, have led to an improvement in some of the human
development indicators, albeit from a low base line.

9. (U) The expansion in gross primary school enrollment has been
particularly significant, rising from 30 percent in the early 1990s
to 91 percent now. Although Ethiopia still has one of the world's
highest prevalence of child malnutrition, the prevalence rate is
declining steadily. Access to potable water has also improved over
the past five years, and more children in Ethiopia are being
immunized against diseases such as measles, which has contributed to
reducing child and infant mortality.

10. (SBU) While recent achievements are encouraging, Ethiopia's
human development indicators remain low, and the country continues
to face major challenges and constraints in the provision of basic
services. Although primary school enrolment has expanded
enormously, the available resources are not adequate to ensure
improvements in educational outcomes. The resource constraints in
the education sector are evidenced by congestion in schools.
Access to education for children with special needs, and for
children from pastoral areas, remains limited. The limited access
to water is partly due to the inadequate capacity of rural water
schemes, as many of them are malfunctioning, and existing water
schemes lack adequate funding for maintenance or operating costs to
sustain water supply. Lack of clean water and sanitation has also
contributed to the high morbidity rates in Ethiopia.
END COMMENT.

YAMAMOTO

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