Progress toward the MDG’s, but most vulnerable are being left behind.
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are international development goals that each of the 192 member states of the United Nations, as well as at least 23 international organisations, have agreed to accomplish by 2015.
These goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; providing universal primary education; promoting gender equality; reducing child mortality and improving maternal health; as well as halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a ‘global partnership for development.’
This month the UN released the annual MDG progress report, which revealed that, while significant progress has been made toward each of the goals, there have been uneven rates of progress within different regions and, troublingly, the most poor and vulnerable are being left behind. The overall poverty rate has been projected to fall below 15%, which is well below the 23% target set in the MDGs, however, this is largely due to the explosive economic growth in China and India. Reductions in child mortality and HIV infections and improved access to drinking water are considerable achievements; however, those hardest to reach – the poorest of the poor, and the disadvantaged (due to sex, age, ethnicity or disability) – continue to miss out, and need to be targeted.
“Achieving the goals will require equitable and inclusive economic growth – growth that reaches everyone and that will enable all people, especially the poor and marginalized, to benefit from economic opportunities. Between now and 2015, we must make sure that promises made become promises kept. World leaders must show not only that they care, but that they have the courage and conviction to act.” – Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the U.N.