The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. It's comprised of eight international goals that were agreed to by 193 countries aiming to meet the needs of the global poor by 2015. Over the next 8 weeks, we will discuss each of these goals, the progress that has been made and what can be done to further development past the year 2015.
The Millennium Development Goals are:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- Create a global partnership for development
Extreme poverty is define as living on less than $1.25 a day. The targets set out to meet this goal include:Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 50%
- reduce the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
- achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
The target of reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty was met 5 years ahead of schedule – yay! 700 million less people were living in extreme poverty by 2010. As well, the global proportion of undernourished people dropped from 23% to 15%. South Asia met the target of halving the proportion of undernourished people ahead of schedule.
What's Still to Be Done
1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty and the number of unemployed people has increased by 28 million since 2007.
Examples and Stories of Progress
The government of Spain in partnership with the UN Development Programme established 16 centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina that provide career counselling to unemployed youth. Over 6800 youth received training in the first 14 months with almost 2000 then gaining their first work experience.
The World Food Programme's Food for Girls Education Programme delivers an annual ration of wheat and fortified oil to families who send their girls to school. As a result, over 200,000 girls have enrolled in school and over 1 million families have benefited.
2015 and beyond
Both men and women need safe access to nutritious food year round as well as basic services and health care. Increased investments in agricultural research and rural infrastructure will serve to improve production and provide jobs. I have virtually no knowledge of economics but food commodity pricing and the elimination of volatile and exorbitant food pricing seems like a great step as well.
The official website for the MDG's contains plenty of information and encouraging stories.
Sarah lives in Northern Ontario with her family. Sarah and her husband have four children, and one grandson. She is an avid reader and learner. In 2012, Sarah launched JustOne with Krista and travelled to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa together. Sarah has a blog we love to read called "Recipe for Messiness" that is about finding beauty amidst our messy lives.