The 189 countries of the United Nations came together in September 2000 and adopted the UN Millennium Declaration. Eritrea, among all the other nations agreed to meet the following 8 goals by 2015:
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger (not yet achieved)
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education (achieved)
3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women (achieved)
4. Reduce Child Mortality (achieved)
5. Improve Maternal Health (achieved)
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases (achieved 1, 2)
7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability (achieved)
8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development. (no enough data to access progress)
A November 2011 article in the New African Magazine read:
“Though it has gone unreported, Eritrea is a country that may meet most of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It has achieved considerable success in health and education, based on principles of self-reliance and social justice. As pictures of the recent famine in the Horn of Africa are broadcast across the world, Eritrea is missing from the narrative because in a short space of time it has made strides in developing a strong agricultural sector and a resilient economy. And it has done all this without donor aid or outside help.”
In April 2011, the Africa Research Institute reported that Eritrea like Rwanda is on track to achieve 6 out of 8 of the Millennium Development Goals.
Rwanda received almost $2 Billion USD in overseas development assistance which was ﬁve times the amount granted to Eritrea.
On January 28, 2013, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Christine N. Umuton said that Eritrea is making commendable progress in health related MDGs.
A Shared Vision
In Eritrea, the MDGs are managed under the Ministry of National Development. The Eritrean government believes that poverty reduction can be addressed “eﬀectively only in the context of an overall development strategy and not in an isolated fashion.”
Eritrea is unique in its approach to development because it has a “National Plan” argues Professor Taisir Ali, Director, PeaceBuilding Centre for the Horn of Africa (PCHA) and Lecturer at the University of Toronto.
The 1994 National Charter adopted by the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) identiﬁed 6 goals, 3 of which correlate to the MDGs; these are, Social Justice, Economic Development and Regional & International Cooperation.
These central themes are important when addressing inequality and poverty reduction. Furthermore, the National Charter makes mention of the special attention needed for the disadvantaged sections of society and addressed environmental sustainability before it became a popular and glamorized international campaign.
The National Charter reads: “we are committed to economic growth but in conjunction with social justice and the protection of the natural environment.”