Report states progress but calls for increased support

Millennium Development Goals Report 2011

The number of deaths of children under the age of five declined from 12.4 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2009, which means nearly 12,000 fewer children die each day. Some of the world’s poorest countries have also made impressive gains in the fight against poverty, but the least developed countries still lag in efforts to improve living standards.

These results and assessments are presented in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2011, prepared by DESA’s Statistics Division and launched today in Geneva by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The report shows significant overall progress towards achieving the global targets against extreme poverty and it gives examples of achievements saying that Burundi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo and Tanzania attained or are nearing the goal of universal primary education, one of the targets.

Despite significant setbacks caused by the global economic crisis that plunged much of the world into recession in 2008 and 2009, and the high food and energy prices, the world is still on track to achieve the MDGs, according to the report.

“Despite these declines, current trends suggest that the momentum of growth in the developing world remains strong enough to sustain the progress needed to reach the global poverty-reduction target,” the report says. “Based on recently updated projections from the World Bank, the overall poverty rate is still expected to fall below 15 per cent by 2015, indicating that the Millennium Development Goal target can be met.”

It also stresses that efforts need to be intensified especially among the most vulnerable members of the global population who continue to be marginalised as a result of sex, age, ethnicity or disability. Disparities in progress between urban and rural areas also remain significant, according to the report.

“The poorest of the world are being left behind. We need to reach out and lift them into our lifeboat,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the report at the meeting of the High-level Segment of ECOSOC. “Now is the time for equity, inclusion, sustainability and women’s empowerment,” he added.

The MDGs were agreed at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, with eight targets for reducing extreme poverty and hunger, improving health and education, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability by 2015.

Source: UN News Centre

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