The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) laid out eight specific targets to reduce extreme poverty and improve the living conditions of billions of people worldwide, from 2000-2015. The anticipated deadline has arrived and the results are positive, with a final report calling this “the most successful anti-poverty movement in history.”
Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion to 836 million. In addition, according to the report the proportion of undernourished people in developing regions fell by almost half, from 23.3 percent in 1990-1992 to 12.9 percent in 2014-2016.
Below are more updated figures of the success of the MDGs:
- Water: The target was met of halving the proportion of people who lack access to improved sources of water. Since 1990, 2.6 billion people have gained access to better water sources.
- Mortality Rate: The under-five mortality rate has declined by more than half, from 12.7 million to less than 6 million and maternal mortality is down 45 percent worldwide.
- Diseases: New HIV infections decreased by about 40 percent, from 2000 to 2013. In the same time period, tuberculosis prevention, treatment, and diagnosis solutions have saved the lives of 37 million. Since 2000, 6.2 million deaths of mostly children under 5 were prevented from malaria.
- Education: The primary school enrollment rate in the developing regions has reached 91 percent with the number of children out of school dropping from 100 million to an estimated 57 million. There are also many more girls going to school compared to 15 years ago with an estimated two-thirds of developing countries closing the gender gap in education.
Despite significant gains, there are still issues to be addressed. The report indicates that gender equality, maternal health and extreme poverty and hunger remain problems in the effort to improve lives across the world.
Coming up this month, the global community will convene at the United Nations for a summit to establish a new development agenda and to adopt a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will provide a blueprint for policy and funding for the next 15 years.
– Paula Acevedo