Turkmenistan to move faster towards sustainable development with United Nations support

UNDP/George Bouma

WHO along with other United Nations agencies and the World Bank conducted an assessment visit to Turkmenistan to support the country in making more effective steps towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The joint visit aimed to assess how far the process of adapting the SDGs to the national context has progressed, to understand the country’s capacities for implementation, and to promote areas for acceleration and quick wins. These areas include economic diversification, social development and resilience to climate change.

The team met with all government ministries, taking into account a presidential decree that assigned responsibility for SDG monitoring, including to the Ministry of Health. This provided an opportunity for WHO to bring health issues to the attention of all government sectors, and to meet with development partners and civil society.

Health in focus

The team recognized the work of the Ministry of Health to integrate the SDGs into their policy and information systems. There was unanimous agreement that this has set a good example that could be replicated in other countries.

The team also conducted consultations on improving health and well-being. These focused on:

  • reducing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and strengthening multisectoral approaches;
  • advancing health systems and care towards universal health coverage;
  • financing health and reducing out-of-pocket payment; and
  • strengthening prevention through the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

WHO discussed with several ministries the issue of financing development and health through pricing and taxation of harmful products such as tobacco. Such revenues can in turn be invested into social protection.

The team also recommended strengthening the implementation of activities to reduce NCDs with a focus on long-term prevention and health system improvement.

About MAPS

The visit, led by the United Nations Development Programme, was part of the Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) approach to SDG implementation. The integrated team included representatives from WHO/Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Bank. It will develop a report to support the Government of Turkmenistan in accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the country.