Millennium Development Goals seek end to poverty, hunger
United Nations (AFP) Sept 19, 2010
The eight Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000 with a target date of 2015:
POVERTY AND HUNGER
-- Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day
The UN says the global economic crisis has slowed progress but the goal is still possible.
-- Full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
Another target badly hit by the crisis. Employment around the world has fallen and more workers are now "living in extreme poverty," according to the UN.
-- Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
This has been hit by the global economic and food crises of recent years. One in four children in the developing world are still underweight.
UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION
-- By 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
Hopes are fading that this can be achieved, though progress has been made. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia are home to the vast majority of children out of school.
-- Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education at all levels by 2015
Education remains elusive for girls in some regions. Poverty is a major barrier to education, especially among older girls. In nearly every developing region, men outnumber women in paid employment with women relegated to more vulnerable jobs. Top level jobs still go overwhelmingly to men.
-- Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
Child deaths are falling, but not quickly enough to reach the target. Revitalizing efforts against pneumonia and diarrhoea, while bolstering nutrition, could save millions of children.
-- Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
The lack of basic health skills is the main problem. Giving birth is especially risky in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where most women deliver without skilled care.
-- Achieve universal access to reproductive health
More women are receiving antenatal care but striking inequalities in care during pregnancy remain. The UN says progress has stalled in reducing the number of teenage pregnancies "putting more young mothers at risk" and in increasing the use of contraception.
BATTLING AIDS, MALARIA
-- To halt and reverse the the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015
The spread of HIV appears to have stabilized in most regions, and more people are surviving longer. Many young people still lack the knowledge to protect themselves against HIV though.
-- Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS
The rate of new HIV infections still outstrip the expansion of treatment but expanded treatment for HIV-positive women safeguards their newborns
-- Halt by 2015 and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Simple weapons such as soaring production of insecticide-treated mosquito nets has helped in the fight against malaria and more effective antimalarial drugs are now available. The UN says the number of malaria deaths is falling but more finance is needed.
Progress on tuberculosis, the second leading killer after HIV, inches forward. Tuberculosis prevalence is falling in most regions
-- More use of sustainable development in country policies and reverse the loss of environmental resources
The rate of deforestation shows signs of decreasing, but is still alarmingly high, says the UN. A decisive response to climate change is urgently needed.
-- Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
The 2010 target for biodiversity conservation was missed, with potentially grave consequences, according to UN experts.
Key habitats for threatened species are not being adequately protected and the number of species facing extinction is growing by the day. Overexploitation of fisheries has stabilized, but stocks are still threatened.
-- Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
The world is on track to meet the drinking water target, but accelerated efforts are needed to bring drinking water to rural households.
With half the population of developing regions without sanitation, the 2015 target appears to be out of reach.
-- By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
Slum improvements are failing to keep pace with the growing ranks of the urban poor. Slum prevalence remains high in sub-Saharan Africa and increases in countries affected by conflict.
-- Meet the needs of least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states
Aid continues to rise despite the financial crisis, but Africa is "short-changed", according to the UN. Only five donor countries have reached the UN target for official aid.
-- Develop an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
-- A comprehensive deal on the debt of the developing world
Debt burdens are easing and are well below historical levels.
-- With pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
-- With the private sector, widen the availability of new technology
Demand grows for information and communications technology but access to the World Wide Web is still closed to the majority of the world's people.
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