Chapter

Goals and Targets from the Millennium Declaration

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 2012
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1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

TARGET 1.A Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day

TARGET 1.B Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

TARGET 1.C Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

2 Achieve universal primary education

TARGET 2.A Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling

3 Promote gender equality and empower women

TARGET 3.A Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education no later than 2015

4 Reduce child mortality

TARGET 4.A Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the underfive mortality rate

5 Improve maternal health

TARGET 5.A Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio

TARGET 5.B Achieve by 2015 universal access to reproductive health

6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

TARGET 6.A Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

TARGET 6.B Achieve by 2010 universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it

TARGET 6.C Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

7 Ensure environmental sustainability

TARGET 7.A Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources

TARGET 7.B Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving by 2010 a significant reduction in the rate of loss

TARGET 7.C Halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

TARGET 7.D Have achieved a significant improvement by 2020 in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

8 Develop a global partnership for development

TARGET 8.A Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, nondiscriminatory trading and financial system (including a commitment to good governance, development, and poverty reduction, nationally and internationally)

TARGET 8.B Address the special needs of the least-developed countries (including tariff-and quota-free access for exports of the least-developed countries; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to reducing poverty)

TARGET 8.C Address the special needs of landlocked countries and small island developing states (through the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the 22nd special session of the General Assembly)

TARGET 8.D Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures to make debt sustainable in the long term

TARGET 8.E In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries

TARGET 8.F In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

Progress toward the MDGs

Global progress toward the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) varies across targets and regions. At the global level, current estimates indicate that targets related to extreme poverty (MDG 1.a) and access to safe drinking water (MDG 7.c) have been reached (Figure 1). Accordingly, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day has decreased by at least 50 percent since 1990, when global poverty was estimated at 43.1 percent. Similarly, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water has been halved from the 24 percent estimated for 1990.

Figure 1Global progress toward the MDGs varies (developing countries, weighted by population)

Source: World Bank staff calculations based on data from the World Development Indicators database.

Note: A value of 100 percent means that the respective MDG has been reached. “Corresponding target” indicates progress presently needed to reach the goal by 2015. “Latest available value” denotes present progress as illustrated by most recent available data: extreme poverty, 2010; primary completion rate, 2009; ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education, 2009; mortality rate, infants, 2010; mortality rate, children under 5, 2010; maternal mortality ratio, 2008; improved water source, 2010; improved sanitation facilities, 2008).

Progress is also significant for primary completion (MDG 2.a) and gender equality in primary and secondary education (MDG 3.a). Latest available data suggest that developing countries are within 10 percentage points of the on-track trajectory (figure 1), meaning that at current trends these two development goals will likely be reached by the year 2015.

On the other hand, progress has been lagging for health-related MDGs. Global targets related to infant and maternal mortality (MDGs 4.a and 5.a), and to a lesser extent, access to basic sanitation (MDG 7.c) are significantly off-track (Figure 1). Current progress in reducing by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio roughly represents half of the required improvement needed to reach the 2015 goal.

Progress toward the 2015 goals is related to income and institutions. Nonfragile upper-middle-income countries have reached or are on track to achieve, on average, six development targets, whereas countries in fragile situation are considerably lagging behind, with only two goals achieved or on track. Nonfragile low- and lower-middle-income countries (with three and four goals, respectively, achieved or on track) have also performed better than countries in fragile situations, although not as well as upper-middle-income countries.

At the regional level, progress toward the MDGs is more diverse, although health-related targets will likely be missed in most regions (Figure 2). In East Asia and Pacific the targets on extreme poverty, gender parity, and access to water and sanitation have been reached. Progress is substantial with regard to primary completion, and the goal should be achieved in the years remaining to 2015. Child and maternal mortality are the targets lagging the most.

Figure 2Regional progress toward the MDGs (developing countries, weighted by population)

Source: World Bank staff calculations based on data from the World Development Indicators database.

Note: A value of 100 percent means that the respective MDG has been reached. Values denote present progress as illustrated by most recent available data: extreme poverty, 2010; primary completion rate, 2009; ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary, 2009; mortality rate, infants, 2010; mortality rate, children under 5, 2010; maternal mortality ratio, 2008; improved water source, 2010; improved sanitation facilities, 2008).

In Europe and Central Asia the proportion of poor has been halved since 1990, and the target on access to water has been reached. Progress toward achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality is currently on track. Increased efforts must be undertaken with regard to improving maternal health and access to basic sanitation.

Latin America and the Caribbean has already reached the targets on extreme poverty, primary completion, gender equality, and access to safe water. The region is performing better than the rest of the developing world in relation to child mortality, having achieved more than 60 percent of the progress needed to reduce under-5 mortality by two-thirds. However, Latin America and the Caribbean faces serious challenges regarding maternal mortality, as progress in this MDG has been significantly slow.

Middle East and North Africa has reached the poverty target as well as the target on access to improved sanitation facilities. The region is making fast progress toward achieving universal primary education and gender equality. Nevertheless, progress toward ensuring access to safe drinking water and eradicating maternal mortality is lagging.

South Asia has reached the target on access to safe water and will probably eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015. Progress has also been made with respect to primary completion and, to a lesser extent, extreme poverty reduction. Faster progress is required in terms of reducing child and maternal mortality and improving access to sanitation facilities if the region is to reach these goals by 2015.

Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging with respect to other regions and most MDGs. However, the region has achieved more than 60 percent of the progress required to reach, by 2015, goals such as gender parity, primary completion, access to safe water, and extreme poverty. As for other regions, health-related MDGs, particularly maternal mortality, require urgent attention.

MDG 1 Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger

Poverty and hunger remain, but fewer people live in extreme poverty. The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 43.1 percent in 1990 to 22.2 percent in 2008. While the food, fuel, and financial crises over the past four years have worsened the situations of vulnerable populations and slowed the rate of poverty reduction in some countries, global poverty rates kept falling. Between 2005 and 2008 both the poverty rate and the number of people living in extreme poverty fell in all six developing regions, the first time that has happened. Preliminary estimates for 2010 show that the extreme poverty rate fell further, reaching the global target of the MDGs of halving world poverty five years early. Three regions—East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa—met or exceeded the target by 2008.

Further progress is possible and likely before the 2015 target date of the MDGs, if developing countries maintain the robust growth rates achieved over much of the past decade. But even then, hundreds of millions of people will remain mired in poverty, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and wherever poor health and lack of education deprive people of productive employment; where environmental resources have been depleted or spoiled; and where corruption, conflict, and misgovernance waste public resources and discourage private investment.

The most rapid decline in poverty occurred in East Asia and Pacific, where extreme poverty in China fell from 60 percent in 1990 to 13 percent. In the developing world outside China, the poverty rate fell from 37 percent to 25 percent. Poverty remains widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, but progress in both regions has been substantial. In South Asia the poverty rate fell from 54 to 36 percent. In Sub-Saharan Africa the poverty rate fell by 4.8 percentage points to less than 50 percent between 2005 and 2008, the largest drop in Sub-Saharan Africa since international poverty rates have been computed.

In 2008 1.28 billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day. Since 1990 the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen in all regions except Sub-Saharan Africa, where population growth exceeded the rate of poverty reduction, increasing the number of extremely poor people from 290 million in 1990 to 356 million in 2008. The largest number of poor people remain in South Asia, where 571 million people live on less than $1.25 a day, down from a peak of 641 million in 2002.

Undernourishment measures the availability of food to meet people’s basic energy needs. The MDGs call for cutting the proportion of undernourished people in half, but few countries will reach that target by 2015. Rising agricultural production has kept ahead of population growth, but rising food prices and the diversion of food crops to fuel production have reversed the declining rate of undernourishment since 2004–06. The FAO estimates that in 2008 there were 739 million people without adequate daily food intake.

Rates of malnutrition have dropped substantially since 1990, but over 100 million children under age 5 remain malnourished. Only 40 countries, out of 90 with adequate data to monitor trend, are on track to reach the MDG target. Malnutrition in children often begins at birth, when poorly nourished mothers give birth to underweight babies. Malnourished children develop more slowly, enter school later, and perform less well. Programs to encourage breastfeeding and improve the diets of mothers and children can help.

Figure 1aPoverty rates fell sharply in the new millennium

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Note: “Malnourishment” is the measure of underweight children.

Figure 1bFewer people living in extreme poverty

Source: World Bank staff estimates.

Figure 1cProgress toward reducing undernourishment

Source: World Bank staff estimates.

Figure 1dMany children remain malnourished

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Note: “Malnourishment” is the measure of underweight children.

MDG 2 Achieve universal primary education

The commitment to provide primary education to every child is the oldest of the MDGs, having been set down at the first Education for All conference in Jomtien, Thailand, more than 20 years ago. This goal has been reached only in Latin America and the Caribbean, although East Asia and Pacific and Europe and Central Asia are close. Progress among the poorest countries, slow in the 1990s, has accelerated since 2000, particularly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, but the goal of full enrollment remains elusive. And even as countries approach the target, the educational demands of modern economies expand. In the 21st century, primary education will be of value only as a stepping stone toward secondary and higher education.

In 2009 87 percent of children in developing countries completed primary school. In most regions school enrollments picked up after the MDGs were promulgated in 2000, when the completion rate stood at 80 percent. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which started out farthest behind, have continued to make substantial progress but will still fall short of the goal. The Middle East and North Africa has stalled at completion rates of around 90 percent, while Europe and Central Asia and East Asia and Pacific are within striking distance but have made little progress in the last five years.

Sixty developing countries, one-half the number of countries for which there are adequate data, have achieved or are on track to achieve the MDG target of a full course of primary schooling for all children. Twelve more will miss the 2015 deadline, but are making slow progress. That leaves at least 48 countries seriously off track, making little or no progress, 30 of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Figure 2aThe last step toward education for all

Source: UNESCO Institute of Statistics and World Development Indicators database.

Figure 2bProgress toward primary education for all

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

MDG 3 Promote gender equality and empower women

Women are making progress. The MDGs monitor progress toward gender equity and the empowerment of women along three dimensions: education, employment, and participation in public decision making. These are important, but there are other dimensions. Efforts are underway to improve the monitoring of women’s access to financial services, entrepreneurship, migration and remittances, and violence against women. Time use surveys, for example, can do much to illuminate differences in the roles of women and men within the household and the workplace. Disaggregation of other statistical indicators by sex can also reveal patterns of disadvantage or, occasionally, advantage for women. Whatever the case, women make important contributions to economic and social development. Expanding opportunities for them in the public and private sectors is a core development strategy. And good statistics are essential for developing policies that effectively promote gender equity and increase the welfare and productivity of women.

Girls have made substantial gains in primary and secondary school enrollments. In many countries, girls’ enrollment rates outnumber boys’, particularly in secondary school. But the comparison of enrollment rates obscures the underlying problem of underenrollment. Girls are still less likely to enroll in primary school or to stay in school until the end of the primary stage. In some countries the situation changes at the secondary stage. Girls who complete primary school may be more likely to stay in school, while boys drop out. In Europe and Central Asia and Latin American and the Caribbean the differences between boys’ and girls’ enrollments in higher education are substantial. This is an unsatisfactory path to equity. Rapid growth and poverty reduction truly requires education for all.

Substantial progress has been made toward increasing the proportion of girls enrolled in primary and secondary education. By the end of the 2009/10 school year, 96 countries had achieved equality of enrollment rates, and 7 more were on track to do so by 2015. That leaves only 27 countries off track or seriously off track, mostly low- and lower-middle-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Fourteen countries lacked adequate data to assess progress.

Figure 3aIncreasing participation by girls at all levels of education

Source: UNESCO Institute of Statistics and World Development Indicators (WDI) database.

a. Data for primary and tertiary enrollmentare from 2008.

Figure 3bProgress toward gender equality in primary and secondary education

MDG 4 Reduce child mortality

Deaths in children under age 5 have been declining since 1990. In 2006, for the first time, the number of children who died before their fifth birthday fell below 10 million. In developing countries the mortality rate has declined from 98 per 1,000 in 1990 to 63 in 2010. Still, progress toward the MDG target of a two-thirds reduction has been slow. In Sub-Saharan Africa, one child in 8 dies before their fifth birthday. The odds are somewhat better in South Asia, where one child in 15 dies before their fifth birthday. Even in regions with relatively low mortality rates, such as Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and Central Asia, slow improvements leave most countries well short of the MDG target.

Thirst-six developing countries have achieved or are now on track to achieve the target of a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality rates.

Distribution of progress

In 1990 the under-5 mortality rate in Niger stood at 311 per 1,000, the worst in the world. In the same year, Seychelles, with an under-5 mortality rate of 16, was the best in Sub-Saharan Africa. How have they fared since? In the 20 years since the MDG baseline, Niger’s mortality rate fell by 168 points, the greatest in the region, while Seychelles’ fell by 3 points. In proportional terms, Niger experienced a 54 percent reduction—second greatest in the region—and Seychelles a 16 percent reduction. Both fall short of the MDG target, but Niger, starting in last place, has progressed somewhat faster. Has this been the general rule? Figure 4c shows the 1990 under-5 mortality rates for all low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in 1990 and the improvement to 2010. Only one country, Zimbabwe, moved backward. Two countries, Malawi and Madagascar are on track to achieve the MDG target. Several others, including Niger, Eritrea, and Tanzania are close. The downward sloping regression line (white dots) shows the expected reduction in mortality rates, given countries’ starting position. On average, countries starting in worse positions in Sub-Saharan Africa have done better, possibly because large scale vaccination programs, the introduction of treated bed nets as a malaria preventative, and campaigns to encourage exclusive breastfeeding have been able to reach a large number of people, even in poor countries. But as Figure 4c also reveals, the experience has been highly mixed: Conflict-affected countries, like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have made almost no progress, while similarly situated countries such as Zambia and Uganda have done much better.

Figure 4aStill far to go

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 4bMost deaths happen in the first year

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 4cFor some, better than expected improvements

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

Figure 4dProgress toward reducing child mortality

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

MDG 5 Reduce maternal mortality

An estimated 358,000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide in 2008, a 34 percent decrease since 1990. Most maternal deaths occurred in developing countries. What makes maternal mortality such a compelling problem is that it strikes young women experiencing a natural life event. They die because they are poor. Malnourished. Weakened by disease. Exposed to multiple pregnancies. And they die because they lack access to trained health care workers and modern medical facilities. Death in childbirth is a rare event in rich countries, where there are typically fewer than 15 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births, an average that has remained essentially constant for the past 18 years. And because women in poor countries have more children, their lifetime risk of maternal death may be more than 200 times greater than for women in Western Europe and North America.

Reducing maternal mortality requires a comprehensive approach to women’s reproductive health, starting with family planning and access to contraception. Many health problems among pregnant women are preventable or treatable through visits with trained health workers before childbirth. Good nutrition, vaccinations, and treatment of infections can improve outcomes for mother and child. Skilled attendants at time of delivery and access to hospital treatments are essential for dealing with life-threatening emergencies such as severe bleeding and hypertensive disorders.

About half of all maternal deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and a third in South Asia. but mothers face substantial risks in other regions as well. Among fragile and conflict-affected states, the mortality ratio may be many times higher.

Progress in reducing maternal mortality ratios has been slow, far slower than imagined by the MDG target of a 75 percent reduction from 1990 levels. Accurate measurement of maternal mortality is difficult, requiring accurate reporting of vital events and specialized surveys. Recent efforts by statisticians have improved estimates, but for many countries the need for improved monitoring of maternal health will continue long past 2015.

Women who give birth at an early age are likely to bear more children and are at greater risk of death or serious complications from pregnancies. In many developing countries, the number of women ages 15–19 is still increasing. Preventing unintended pregnancies and delaying childbirth among young women increase the chances of their attending school and eventually obtaining paid employment.

Having skilled health workers present for deliveries is key to reducing maternal mortality. In many places women have only untrained caregivers or family members to attend them during childbirth. Skilled health workers are trained to give necessary care before, during, and after delivery; they can conduct deliveries on their own, summon additional help in emergencies, and provide care for newborns.

Figure 5aMaternal mortality ratios have been falling but large regional differences persist

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 5bProgress in reducing maternal mortality

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

Figure 5cHelp for mothers

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 5dFewer young women giving birth

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

MDG 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

Epidemic diseases exact a huge toll in human suffering and lost opportunities for development. Poverty, armed conflict, and natural disasters contribute to the spread of disease and are made worse by it. In Africa the spread of HIV/AIDS has reversed decades of improvement in life expectancy and left millions of children orphaned. It is draining the supply of teachers and eroding the quality of education.

There are 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria each year, leading to more than 1 million deaths. Nearly all the cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, and most deaths from malaria are among children younger than 5.

Tuberculosis kills some 2 million people a year, most of them 15–45 years old. The disease, once controlled by antibiotics, is spreading again because of the emergence of drug-resistant strains. People living with HIV/AIDS, which reduces resistance to tuberculosis, are particularly vulnerable as are refugees, displaced persons, and prisoners living in close quarters and unsanitary conditions.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains at the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but the proportion of adults living with AIDS has begun to fall even as the survival rate of those with access to antiretroviral drugs has increased. In Africa 58 percent of the adults with HIV/AIDS are women. The region with the next-highest prevalence rate is Latin America and the Caribbean, where 0.5 percent of adults are infected.

In 2009 between 31 million and 33 million people were living with HIV/AIDS. Of these approximately 1.5 million were under the age of 15. Another 16.9 million children, of which 14.8 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa, lost one or both parents to AIDS. By the end of 2009, 5.25 million people were receiving antiretroviral drugs, representing 36 percent of the population for which the World Health Organization recommends treatment.

The MDGs call for halting and then reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. This progress assessment is based on prevalence rates for adults ages 15–49. Countries with declining prevalence rates since 2005 are assessed to have halted the epidemic; those with prevalence rates less than their earliest measured rate have reversed the epidemic. Countries with prevalence rates of less than 0.2 percent were considered to be stable.

Malaria is endemic in most tropical and subtropical regions, but 90 percent of the malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Those most severely affected are children under age 5. Even those who survive malaria do not escape unharmed. Repeated episodes of fever and anemia take a toll on their mental and physical development. Insecticide-treated bed nets have proved to be an effective preventative. Their use has grown rapidly. Between 2008 and 2010, 290 million nets were distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa, but coverage remains uneven. In some countries with large numbers of reported cases, use of bed nets for children remains at less than 20 percent.

Figure 6a.Bringing HIV/AIDS under control

Source: World Health Organization/UNAIDS; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 6b.Millions of people still afflicted with HIV/AIDS

Source: World Health Organization/UNAIDS; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 6c.Protecting children from malaria

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 6d.Progress toward reversing the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

MDG 7 Ensure environmental sustainability

Sustainable development can be ensured only by protecting the environment and using its resources wisely. Poor people, often dependent on natural resources for their livelihood, are the most affected by environmental degradation and natural disasters (fires, storms, earthquakes)—the effects of which are worsened by environmental mismanagement. Poor people also suffer from shortcomings in the built environment; whether in urban or rural areas, they are more likely to live in substandard housing, to lack basic services, and to be exposed to unhealthy living conditions.

Most countries have adopted principles of sustainable development and have agreed to international accords on protecting the environment. But the failure to reach a comprehensive agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions leaves billions of people and future generations vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Growing populations put more pressure on marginal lands and expose more people to hazardous conditions that will be exacerbated by global warming.

Annual emissions of carbon dioxide reached 32 million metric tons in 2008 and are still rising. High-income economies remain the largest emitters, but the rapidly growing upper-middle-income countries are not far behind. Measured by emissions per capita, however, emissions by high-income economies are more than three times as high as the average of low- and middle-income countries.

Loss of forests threatens the livelihood of poor people, destroys habitats that harbor biodiversity, and eliminates an important carbon sink that helps to moderate the climate. Net losses since 1990 have been substantial, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, and these losses are only partially compensated by increases in Asia and high-income economies. The MDGs call for halving the proportion of the population without access to improved sanitation and water sources by 2015. As of 2010, 2.7 billion people still lacked access to improved sanitation, and more than 1 billion people practiced open defecation, posing enormous health risks. At the present pace only 37 countries are likely to reach the target—a pickup of 2 since the last measurement in 2008. East Asia and Pacific and Middle East and North Africa are the only developing regions on track to reach the target by 2015.

In 1990 more than 1 billion people lacked access to drinking water from a convenient, protected source, but the situation is improving. The proportion of people in developing countries with access to an improved water source increased from 71 percent in 1990 to 86 percent in 2008. The MDG target is to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to an improved water source. Seventy-three countries have reached or are on track to reach the target. At this rate, only the developing regions of the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa will fall short.

In 1990, 63 percent of the people living in low- and middle-income countries lacked access to a flush toilet or other form of improved sanitation. By 2010 the access rate had improved by 19 percentage points to 44 percent. The situation is worse in rural areas, where 57 percent of the population lack access to improved sanitation. The large urban-rural disparity, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, is the principal reason the sanitation target of the MDGs will not be achieved.

Figure 7a.Carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise

Source: CDIAC; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 7b.Forest losses and gains

Source: FAO; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 7c.Progress toward improved sanitation

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

Figure 7d.Many still lack access to sanitation

Source: World Health Organization; World Development Indicators database.

Figure 7e.Progress toward improved water sources

Source: World Bank staff calculations.

MDG 8 Develop a global partnership for development

The eighth and final goal distinguishes the MDGs from previous sets of resolutions and targeted programs. It recognizes the multidimensional nature of development and the need for wealthy countries and developing countries to work together to create an environment in which rapid, sustainable development is possible. Following the 2002 Millennium Summit in Monterrey, Mexico, world leaders agreed to provide financing for development through a coherent process that recognized the need for domestic as well as international resources. Subsequent high-level meetings expanded on these commitments. Along with increased aid flows and debt relief for the poorest, highly indebted countries, MDG 8 recognizes the need to reduce barriers to trade and to share the benefits of new medical and communication technologies. MDG 8 also reminds us that development challenges differ for large and small countries and for those that are landlocked or isolated by large expanses of ocean. Building and sustaining a partnership is an ongoing process that does not stop on a specific date or when a target is reached. However it is measured, a strong commitment to partnership should be the continuing legacy of the MDGs.

The financial crisis that began in 2008 and fiscal austerity in many high-income economies have threatened to undermine commitments to increase official development assistance. So far, leading donors have maintained their level of effort. Total disbursements by members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee reached $130 billion in 2010, a real increase of 4.3 percent over 2008.

OECD countries (which include some upper-middle-income countries such as Mexico and Chile) spend more on support to domestic agricultural producers than they do on official development assistance. In 2010 the OECD producer support estimate stood at $227 billion, down by about 10 percent from the previous three years.

The growth of fixed-line phone systems has peaked in high-income economies and will never achieve the same level of use in developing countries, where mobile cellular subscriptions continue to grow at a rapid pace. In high-income economies, with more than one subscription per person, the pace of growth appears to be slowing.

Growing economies, better debt management, and debt relief for the poorest countries have allowed developing countries to substantially reduce their debt burdens. Despite the financial crisis, which caused the global economy to contract by 2.3 percent in 2009, debt service ratios continued to fall in most developing regions.

Figure 8a.Most donors have maintained their aid levels

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Figure 8b.But domestic subsidies to agricultural are greater

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Figure 8c.Cellular phones are connecting developing countries

Source: World Development Indicators database.

Figure 8d.Debt service burdens have been falling

Source: International Telecommunication Union and World Development Indicators database.

Note

Source: United Nations. 2008. Report of the Secretary-General on the Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals. E/CN.3/2008/29. New York.

Note: The Millennium Development Goals and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries, including 147 heads of state and government, in September 2000 (http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm) and from further agreement by member states at the 2005 World Summit (Resolution adopted by the General Assembly–A/RES/60/1). The goals and targets are interrelated and should be seen as a whole. They represent a partnership between the developed countries and the developing countries “to create an environment—at the national and global levels alike—which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty.”

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