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MDG Report 2008

Sep 12, 2008

The UN’s Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 outlines the challenges confronting the world in achieving anti-poverty goals by 2015. A most comprehensive global assessment of progress till date, the report warns that rise in global food prices will push another 100 million people into poverty.

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008

The report provides hard evidence for each of the eight MDGs, showing what has been accomplished so far in each of the world’s major geographic regions. It outlines what the world needs to do to succeed by 2015.

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It says though sound progress has been made in some MDG areas, an array of goals and targets are likely to be missed on account of higher oil and food prices, global economic slowdown, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

In East Asia – the world's poorest region three decades ago – the poverty rate has fallen from nearly 80 per cent in 1981 to 18 per cent in 2005. While in South Asia, it has fallen from 60 per cent to 40 per cent over the same period.

Overall net primary school enrollment has also improved markedly, exceeding 95 per cent in Southeast Asia and 90 per cent in South Asia, a significant achievement for the latter although 18 million children are still out of school.

On the other hand, almost half of the developing world’s population – about 2.5 billion people – still lives without access to improved sanitation such as proper toilets. More than one billion of them are in Asia and the Pacific.

The report reveals that efforts for sustainable development in the future seem faint as more than a third of urban population is found living in slum conditions. Carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase despite the international timetable for addressing the problem.

According to the report, about one quarter of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight and are at risk of having a future blighted by long-term effects of undernourishment.

At the global level, maternal mortality decreased by less than one percent between 1990 and 2005, far below the 5.5 percent annual improvement needed to reach the target.

The report also notes that women account for less than 10 percent of parliamentarians in one third of the developing countries.

With regards to the MDG to combat diseases, the report states that most countries are struggling to meet the target of achieving universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS by 2010 and of halting and reversing the spread the disease by 2015.

The report is the most comprehensive global assessment of progress to date, based on work carried out by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on the official MDG Indicators.

It appeals to national governments, civil society, private sector and the international community to mobilise additional resources to commit to building on the momentum to achieve goals.

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