If you watch the news you would probably think the world has gone to heck in a hand basket. That is because you watch the news! The MDG anti-poverty movement reached its climax at a summit at the UN at the end of September. If it was even on the news I missed it, our news tends to be so focused on the dramatic and the negative that major global achievements don’t even make the front page. So I decided to do a bit of research to look at the results, ask how did we do and ask what do we do next? The MDG’s helped lift more that one billion people out of extreme poverty.
Goal 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The number living in extreme poverty fell from 1,751 million in 1999 to 836 million in 2015 and the proportion of undernourished people in developing countries has fallen over 10% to 10.9% Goal 2. Universal Primary Education. The primary school net enrollment has increased 8% to reach 91% since 2000 and the literacy rate of young adults is also 91% globally. Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women. Equal numbers of girls and boys are now in school in Asia, more women are in parliaments and less women are in vulnerable employment. Goal 4. Reduce child mortality. The global under 5 mortality rate has fallen from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births to 43. Goal 5. Improve maternal health. Maternal mortality rate fell from 330 per 100,000 in 2000 to 210 and 71% of births globally were assisted by skilled health personnel. Goal 6. Combat Disease. HIV infections fell by 30% and the mortality rate caused by malaria has dropped by 58% Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability. 91% of the population use an improved drinking source and 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation. 10% fewer people live in slums. Goal 8. Global Partnership for development Official development assistance rose from $81 billion to $135 billion, developing countries paid fewer tariffs.Cellular and internet coverage increased dramatically.
The poorest and most vulnerable are still left behind -Gender inequality persists, there is still a huge gap between the richest and the poorest, the rural urban inequalities remain, climate change and environmental degradation undermine progress and conflicts remain the biggest threat.
I know the numbers can be manipulated and I have seen the UN employees staying in fancy hotels in Nairobi, it’s never a perfect world. I know we still have a long way to go but I prefer to be optimistic and dwell on the positive. It seems better than being cynical and justifying doing nothing. Why not join us in one of the most successful aspects of the MDG’s, providing safe water to those in SubSaharan Africa. Go to our donate page and you can make a one time or monthly contribution and we will continue to work towards making the world a better place for everyone.