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UNDP: Assessing progress towards MDGs

Jul 22, 2010

UNDP’s latest publication, What will it take to achieve the millennium development goals? An international assessment, evaluates progress towards MDGs worldwide. It recommends a strategy of acceleration, highlighting that there is no dearth of resources or skills.

What will it take to achieve the millennium development goals? An International Assessment

Published: UNDP, June 2010


Based on a review of 50 country studies, this Assessment finds that the resources and know-how necessary to achieve the MDGs exist. Acceleration of progress over the next five years will need to focus on continuing proven strategies, policies and interventions and making a radical break with those that do not work.

There have been noticeable reductions in poverty globally. Significant improvements have been made in enrolment and gender parity in schools. Progress is evident in reducing child and maternal mortality; increasing HIV treatments and ensuring environmental sustainability.

While there are welcome developments in the global partnership, where some countries have met their commitments, others can do more.

At the same time that the share of poor people is declining, the absolute number of the poor in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is increasing.

Countries that achieved rapid reductions in income poverty are not necessarily making the same progress in gender equality and environmental sustainability. Lack of progress in reducing HIV is curtailing improvements in both maternal and child mortality.

Moreover, attention to the quality of education and health services may have suffered in the rush to extend coverage.

MDG progress is also threatened by the combination of high food prices and the impact of the international financial and economic crisis.

Economic growth declined in many countries, along with a reduction in foreign direct investment, remittances, as well as a fall in exports and tourist numbers, which led to significant job losses.

Sustained poverty and hunger reduction is at risk because of vulnerability to climate change, particularly in the area of agricultural production.

Weak institutional capacity in conflict and post conflict environments slows MDG progress. Rapid urbanisation and growth in slum dwellings are putting pressure on social services.

This Assessment notes that there are important synergies among the MDGs - acceleration in one goal often speeds up progress in others. In households where women are illiterate, child mortality is higher, implying the links between education, the empowerment of women and the health of children. Given these synergistic and multiplier effects, all the goals need to be given equal attention and achieved simultaneously.

Source : UNDP
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