UN Reports Major Progress Towards Millennium Development Goals But The Most Vulnerable Are Left Behind

“Already the MDGs have helped lift millions of people out of poverty, save countless children’s lives and ensure that they attend school” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the launch of the Millennium Development Goals Report 2011 in Geneva earlier this month.

“They have reduced maternal deaths, expanded opportunities for women, increased access to clean water, and freed many people from deadly and debilitating disease. At the same time, the report shows that we still have a long way to go in empowering women and girls, promoting sustainable development, and protecting the most vulnerable from the devastating effects of multiple crises, be they conflicts, natural disasters or volatility in prices for food and energy” he went on to say.

Some of the significant achievements highlighted in the report include:-
– The world is on track to achieve the poverty reduction target
– 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.
– Deaths from malaria have been reduced by 20% worldwide
– New HIV/AIDS infections have dropped 21% from their peak in 1997
– An estimated 1.1 billion people in urban areas and 723 million people in rural areas gained access to an improved drinking water source over the period 1990-2008

Progress, however, has been uneven, and there are still too many people being left behind, the report notes. Despite major improvements, large gaps remain between and within countries, and efforts need to be intensified.

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