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This paper aims to examine the millennium development goals for Burundi, a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa. Burundi has 8 different millennium development goals that it is attempting to achieve and this paper will examine five of those goals. The millennium development goals of Burundi that will be addressed are to: (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, (2) achieve universal primary education, (3) promote gender equality and empower women, (4) reduce child mortality, and (5) improve maternal health.

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Burundi, as well as all other less developed countries, is aiming to meet its development goals by the year 2015. And in order for Burundi to achieve each of its millennium development goals on time, the country has created targets that directly affect each of the goals and give insight into whether or not Burundi is on track to accomplish its goals. The first millennium development goal of Burundi is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. In order to accomplish this, the first target that Burundi wants to meet is to cut in half, between 1990 and 2015, the number of people whose income is less than one dollar a day.

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The second target is to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015. There are many factors that must be examined to determine if progress is being made to accomplish both of these targets and essentially the overall development goal. When looking at the first target, it is important to examine the percentage of population below $1 (PPP) of consumption per day, percentage of total population below national poverty line, and the percent of the poorest quintile’s share in national income or consumption.

In doing so, we see that in 1990, 84. 2% of Burundi’s population that was under $1 (PPP) of consumption per day and there has been little progress since then, as it reached 86. 4% in 2000 and then decreased to 81. 3% in 2010. We also see that there was a very significant decrease in the percentage of total population below national poverty, going from 91. 3% in 1990 to 52. 4% in 2010 – which represents significant progress toward eradicating extreme poverty.

It is evident that the percent of the poorest quintile’s share in national income or consumption has made little progress over the years, as it went from 8. 3% in 1990, down to 5. 0% in 2000 and then back up to 9. 0% in 2010. For the second target, we must look at the percentage of children under 5 that are moderately or severely underweight and the percentage of population that is undernourished. When doing so, it is evident that the percentages of children under 5 that are moderately or severely underweight have greatly decreased from 1990 to 2010, as it went from 51.6% to 30. 4%.

Although this represents some progress, the percentage of Burundi’s population that is undernourished has not improved. In fact, Burundi’s undernourished population rose dramatically over time as it went from 49. 0% in 1990 to 73. 1% in 2010. The second development goal of Burundi is to achieve universal primary education. In order to achieve this goal, the country is aiming for all children, boys and girls alike, to complete a full course of primary schooling by 2015.

In order to determine if Burundi is on track to meet this goal, it is essential to look at the percentage of literacy rates of 15-24 year olds, net enrollment in primary education (both sexes), and the percentage of pupils starting grade 1 and reaching grade 5 (both sexes). When examining these three measures, the numbers show that there was only slight advancement over the years in the percentage of literacy rates of 15-24 year olds and the percentage of pupils who started 1st grade and reached 5th grade. Although that was the case, there was major advancement for net enrolment in primary education.

The percent of literacy rates of 15-24 year olds was 65. 3% in 1990, had a slight increase to 73. 3% in 2000, and then slightly increased again to 77. 6% in 2010. This was similar to trends for the children who started 1st grade and made it to 5th grade, which was 44. 3% in 1990, rose to 53. 8% in 2000 and then hit 56. 10% in 2010. On the other hand, net enrollment in primary education has seen major progress as it jumped from 19. 8% in 1990 to 44. 9% in 2000 to 94. 5% in 2010. The third development goal of Burundi is to promote gender equality and empower women.

The target to reach this goal was to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and to all levels of education no later than 2015. The percentage of seats held by women in national parliament and the Gender Parity Index for primary and secondary education enrollment levels can both be used to see if Burundi is on track to meet this goal by 2015. When observing the percentage of seats held by women in national parliament over the years, it is evident that major progress has been made.

This is evidenced by the fact that it went from 2. 2% in 1990 and reached 94. 5% in 2010. In addition, the Gender Parity Index in primary level enrollment has made pretty consistent progress over the years, but the major advancement has occurred in secondary level enrollment, as it went from . 56 in 1990 to . 72 in 2010. The fourth millennium development goal of Burundi is to reduce child mortality where the country set a target to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two thirds from 1990 to 2015.

We can study the percentage of 1-year-old children that are immunized against measles and the mortality rate per 1,000 births for children under five years old to determine the progress that has been made to accomplish this goal. When viewing the percentage of 1-year-old children that are immunized against measles, it is apparent that this has been a key focus in Burundi over the years, as it has gone from 74% in 1990 to an astounding 94% in 2010.

The mortality rate per 1,000 births for children under five years old has also shown advancement in Burundi. This can be seen by the fact that it fell from 182. 6 in 1990, to 164.6 in 2000, and to 141. 7 in 2010. A fifth development goal that Burundi hopes to accomplish by 2015 is to improve maternal health. They aim to reach this goal by reducing the maternal mortality rate by three quarters between 1990 and 2015.

The percentage of births attended by skilled health personnel and the maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births are key indicators to show if Burundi is on the right path to achieve this goal. After examining the percentage of births that were attended by skilled health personnel in Burundi in 2000 compared to that of 2010, it is clear that a great amount of progress had been made.

Skilled health personnel participated in only 25. 2% of births in 2000 but significantly increased to 60. 3% of births in 2010. And lastly, the maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births has slowly decreased over the last 20 years, as it went from 1100 to 1000 from 1990 to 2000 and from 1000 down to 800 from 2000 to 2010. After examining the millennium development goals for Burundi, it is evident that there has been a significant amount of progress made in many different areas.

This can be seen when examining the percent of total population below national poverty line, percent of children under 5 moderately or severely underweight, percent of population that is undernourished, net enrollment in primary education (both sexes), percent of seats held by women in national parliament, Gender Parity Index in both primary and secondary level enrollment, percent of 1-year-old children that are immunized against measles, and the percent of births attended by skilled health personnel.

This progress is essential because it is the only way a less developed country like Burundi has a chance to become a developed country in the future. Despite this progress, it is clear that there are also some targets that have shown minimal or no advancement and this will hinder Burundi from reaching its millennium development goals.

These targets include the percent of population below $1 (PPP) consumption per day, percentage of the poorest quintile’s share in national income or consumption, percent of literacy rates of 15-24 year olds, and the percent of pupils (both sexes) starting grade 1 and reaching grade 5. If these specific targets are not achieved, it will be difficult for Burundi to reach all of its millennium development goals by 2015 despite its progress in the other targeted areas.

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Kylie Garcia

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