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This report explains about the 8 Millennium Development Goals and its targets. There were many success and failures in achieving the goals. However the main target is to reduce poverty by the year 2015.
Not all countries has been progressed, some countries reached the target while some countries are still trying to achieve. China and India are the two major countries that achieve the millennium development goals. Many of the African people still don't have enough food supply, proper sanitation and no access to clean drinking water. They have no chance to attain the target by 2015 unless they get aid from rich countries. Development in agriculture can make some of the goals to success. They give jobs to local people and thus they come out of poverty.
Future is nothing without education, so each and every child in the world must study in order to succeed in the life. Government still are motivating children to study by introducing many programs like food for children in school. Maternal health is one of the important issues as women are the person who gives birth to a child. Proper nutritious food is necessary for the pregnant women so that she can avoid complicated pregnancy.
Water related disease kills many people in the world. Every eight seconds, a child dies due to water related disease. In Africa there is no access to clean water. Many women get affected by this as they have to travel long distance to fetch water and this may lead to discontinue their education. So the UN generals are more concerned on this issue. Aids, one the deadliest disease are spreading through out the world especially in India and China. UNICEF conducts many aids awareness programs in India and China and this reached many students and the rate of person getting aids is reduced in the recent years. Malaria has killed many children in African countries but the use of insecticide treated nets has reduced the number of people dying by malaria.
Thus the achievement of millennium development goals by 2015 can help many developing countries to come out of poverty. The world has taken many steps in achieving the goals and it has made a significant progress between 1990 and 2002. Annual income rose to 21 percent in many developing countries and the 130 million people are now above the poverty line. Access to safe drinking water and with proper sanitation made life expectancy from 63 years to 65 years.
Many developed countries are opening their markets to poor countries and made foreign trade policies easier. They are giving assistance for the developing countries in many fields such as education, debts, free trade and in employment sectors. This made a good relationship between the rich and poor countries and serve as a unifying vision for the international communities.
World Leaders, UN secretary general and the president of the UN general assembly designed the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and several targets. They mainly promote poverty reduction, education, maternal health, gender equality, and diminishing child mortality, aids, malaria and other water related diseases. It can be achieved easily by 2015 if all the people work hard for the target.
The main purpose of the report is to reveal the factors that affect or encourage the millennium development goals to progress. It shows that the millennium development goals serve as a unifying vision for the international community.
The report evaluates the successes and failures of millennium development goals in different countries and regions. It also shows how a rural region will attain the 8 goals.
2.0 MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS:
2.1 THE GLOBAL CONTEXT:
The millennium development goals are the targets for addressing world's extreme poverty in its many dimensions such as income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of shelter, gender inequality, and environmental sustainability. More than one billion people of the world's population live in extreme poverty. These people face a daily struggle to live in this world. They don't get enough food to eat, poor shelter, inadequate health and no access to education. Certain decision making events such as the G8 summit, the millennium review summit and the WTO of Ministerial round were made to reduce the poverty in the world and to lift these one billion people especially in Africa.(6)
The starting point is the Millennium declaration which has seven objectives as stated below
· Peace, security and disarmament
· Development and poverty reduction
· Protecting our common environment
· Human rights, democracy and good governance
· Protecting the vulnerable
· Meeting the needs of Africa
· Strengthening the United Nations(UN)
Based on the Millennium declarations, the world leaders assembled at New York and agreed on eight development goals which were called the millennium development goals. This was adopted by 189 nations and signed by their corresponding heads. Their main target is to eradicate poverty by the year 2015. Each goal has its own duty in sustainable development. (2)
2.2 WHY MDG'S ARE IMPORTANT:
The millennium development goals report for 2005 says that MDGs are important for four following reasons
· MDGs are people-centred, time bound and easily measurable.
· It forms a global partner ship as it stresses the developing countries to set their own house and developed countries to help for that.
· They have good political support from the highest officials from developed and developing countries.
· Finally, it is easily achievable with in the target time. (3)
3.0 THE EIGHT GOALS:
3.1 ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER:
The main target is to reduce the proportion of people whose income is less than 1$ a day and the proportion of the people who suffer from hunger in to half between the year 1990 and 2015. This target remains within reach and it is easily attainable due to the economic growth of Asian countries. Hunger and lack of healthy food prevents people from escaping poverty because it diminishes their ability to learn, work and to care themselves and their family members. If left unaddressed, hunger reduces the ability of adult to work and they cannot give birth to healthy children. This decreases a country's potential for economic development. (5)
The rise in the price of food products have adverse effect on the poor and may push 100 million people deeper in to poverty. Some poor people produce their own food but people who doesn't have serious effects as the major expense for one is the food. If people spend more money on food, they cannot expend on their education and shelter. Higher food price can benefit farmers if the resources are rich. But due to the hike in oil price, farmers cannot afford money for fertilizer. Most of the urban and rural farmers are affected by the high food price. Thus the increase in the food price pushes many people in to deeper poverty especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. (6)
There is a direct relationship between agricultural productivity, poverty and hunger. A larger supply of agricultural products will bring the food price down and people can buy essential food for less money and they can invest the rest money in assets for future income. Thus by increasing agricultural productivity, incomes, food availability and assets can reduce poverty.
The recent increase in the agricultural productivity in urban and rural areas made the first goal to meet to a certain extent. When compared to the 1990, 2000 year has 126 million fewer people who suffer from poverty and hunger which reflects in the reduction of poor people from 28 percent to 21 percent. China will be the major force in attaining the first goals due to its rapid growth. By the year 2015, 600 million people will suffer from hunger; 900 million people will continued to stay in poverty and 128 million pre school children will be malnourished. The blow graph shows the percentage decrease in poverty through out the world. (5)
3.2 ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION:
The main target for this goal is by the year 2015; boys and girls everywhere in the world must complete their primary schoolings. Education is very important for one's own development and also for the country's economic growth. There is a link between food, agricultural productivity and education. People cannot spend money for education if the food price is high. Moreover people send their children to work in the farms rather to study. This should be prevented and each child must have primary education. The goal can be achieved by reducing the education fee so it makes people to avoid sending their child to work.
The below three ways can promote to attain MDG 2:
· Food for children in school
· Incentives for working mothers
· Improvements in agricultural productivity
Feeding food for children in school made a dramatic increase in the enrolment of students. More girls will get educated because of the incentives. Results show that nutrition status of children is increased because of girl's education. Farmers can produce more foods and can create a demand for labours, thus local people gets job from agriculture and can meet their child's education expense.(1)
In many regions net enrolment ratio has been increased more than 97 percent and many countries are close to achieve the MDG2. Food for children program in Bangladesh made a 35 percent increase in the enrolment in comparison with only seven percent increase in the schools which has no such kind of programs. The number of children who has no primary education fell from 103 million in 1999 to 73 million in 2006. In Sub Saharan Africa the net enrolment ratio has reached 71 percent and in Southern Asia, it has reached to 90 percent.
3.3 PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN:
The main target for this goal is to eliminate gender disparity in both primary and secondary education by the year 2005 and in other levels of education by 2015. The gender disparity happens mostly in the working and educational sector. Girls account for the 55 percent of out of school's population. (3)
Women mainly depend on agricultural work for their monthly income in order to support their family. Men can work in a non agricultural sector but women cannot work due to the poor technologies in agricultural areas which consume more time. Agricultural practices should be improved to raise income and to empower women. New labour saving technologies must be introduced in order to reduce the working time of women, so they can spend more time on caring their family and look for any skilled jobs. Women face more time burdens than men as they have to maintain farms as well as their technologies. Countries should take this in to account and improve the necessary facilities for agriculture such as transportation, water supply, energy in order to make the work for women simple. Women should get the same credit as the men in order to avoid economic inequality.
Many schools are opened for girls in order to increase the number of enrolment. During 2005-2006, the number of girls enrolled in school outnumbered boys in most of the developing regions. This results in attaining gender parity in those regions. The report says that Southern Asia has made the most progress in gender parity while Sub Saharan Africa, Northern Africa and Western Asia has taken steps to reduce gender inequality. But in some parts of Africa, still there is a big gap between the genders and this is due to the poverty, food shortages, conflicts, and poor facilities.
Women have more employment opportunities than before and they occupy 40 percent of non agricultural jobs compared to 35 percent in 1990. They also play a major role in political decision making. There is an 18 percent increase of women in the year 2008 who hold a seat in parliament. They hold 40 percent of parliament seats in the countries like Sweden, Rwanda, Cuba, Finland and Argentina. From the below graph it clearly shows that women have given equal rights. (4)
3.4 REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY:
The main target for this goal is to reduce mortality rate to two thirds by the year 2015. About half of the child's mortality is because of malnutrition which prevents child from fighting against basic diseases. This causes for the death of 10 million children every year in developing countries. A child born in the developing country has more chance to die before the age of 5 than a child born in a developed country. Diseases like aids pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and measles are the main causes for child mortality. 45 percent of child gets aids from her mother which is one of the major causes for child mortality. Most of these diseases can be readily preventable or curable through simple medications, vaccinations and certain therapies. But proper measures were not taken in the developing countries. (8)
Child mortality is more in rural areas than in urban areas. Some essential nutrients are needed for new born babies. So production of proper healthy food can avoid malnutrition. Improved agricultural conditions can offer a high income to a family so that they can spend more on healthy food and medicines for their children. Therefore by increasing economic conditions, the child mortality can be reduced. The chart below shows the percentage of under nourishment in different countries.
Out of eight goals, this goal is not easily attainable due to the lack of progress in Sub Saharan Africa and in South Asia. In fact only seven countries are about to achieve the target. The reduction rate in Africa is slower in 1990 than in the previous years. If this continues the target will be achieved only by the year 2140. (5) This is due to the neglect of basic health service and AIDS. But child mortality is greatly reduced in some regions where women are educated. Bhutan stands first in reducing mortality rate around the world. In Tanzania, 50 percent of the infants use treated bed nets to control malaria. As a result child mortality due to malaria was reduced by 25%.
3.5 IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH:
The main target for this goal is to reduce the mortality ratio by three quarters. In developing country on an average five lakh women die every year after giving birth to a child and many become disable. In Sub Saharan Africa, 1 in every 16 women has a chance of dying in childbirth. The rate is quite less in developed countries due to its medical facilities and the care given to the pregnant women. (3) Women have to be healthy to care her family. She has to maintain a proper diet and have nutritious food. Most of the women die during complicated pregnancy and child birth. The quality and quantity of food affects maternal health and malnutrition can affect women's reproductive system. When a woman consumes less nutritious food during her pregnancy period, it may contribute to under weight child with some defects also.
Certain diseases like malaria and AIDS can cause a serious effect on women's maternal health. Malaria leads to anaemic diseases in women which is a death risk for both the mother and the child. Most of them are curable, when proper care and medications were given to women during pregnancy. Many women needs obstetric care during her pregnancy though she is healthy or well nourished, so her pregnancy should be attended by a skilled birth attendant who can take any action when the case is serious. (3)
Many countries except Sub-Saharan Africa, delivery care has been greatly improved which leads a safe child birth to women. In developing countries, the percentage of births attended by skilled birth attendant has increased to 53 percent from 42 percent. Asia alone has rose to 35 percent due to its economic development which results in high number of skilled health professionals. But in Sub-Saharan Africa, there was only a 5 percent increase which holds the highest maternal mortality rate. Hospitals, transportation and other necessary facilities are improved for emergency situation. (4)
3.6 COMBAT HIV/AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES:
The main target for this goal is to halt and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Every 30 seconds a child is dying due to malaria. Disease along with poverty can kill a child. A poor child cannot expend more to cure its deadly disease. Millions of children are in lack of sanitation, health care and nutritious foods, as a result diseases like polio, tuberculosis and measles can kill them easily. 20 million people die because of aids and still the death is continuing in many parts of the world. In 2008, roughly 5 lakh children died due to aids. Women accounts for more HIV attacked and 60 percent of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa infected by aids are women. Child gets aids from its mother during pregnancy, birth or breast feeding unless they have undergone anti retroviral treatment. (ARV)
Malaria is also a serious killer disease and affects mostly the poor people who do not use insecticide treated nets. Every year 300 to 500 million people are affected by malaria and nearly one million people die. It accounts for the ten percent of child mortality in developing countries. Malaria affects immune system of pregnant women can cause abortion, premature delivery and less weight child. (2)
Malawi in Africa has the largest supply of insecticide treated nets which prevents malarial attacks. People get these insecticide treated nets through child health and maternal centres. 500,000 child deaths in Africa can be prevented if they spend just 4$ for insecticide treated nets. Uganda met the goal in 1996 but however it's increasing now. The below shows that which countries meet which target. Botswana, Kenya, Egypt and Tunisia are likely to meet the target for aids. Malarial infections have much reduced in Kenya. In 2001 it was 3 million people who were affected by aids but in 2007 it has decreased to 2.7 million. The number of people died from aids has started to decline from 2.2 million in 2005 to 2.0 million in 2007 and this is due to antiretroviral treatment. (7)
3.7 ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY:
The main target is to halve the number of people who doesn't have access to basic sanitation and drinking water. A child dies in every 15 seconds by water related diseases. There are 1.1 billion people who don't have access to clean drinking water; of these 400 million are children. Many children in Africa don't have proper shelter and most of the houses have mud flooring which leads to many deadly diseases. Though if they have water supply, it will not be located in the residential areas, they have to travel some distance to get that. This is the case for many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. (11)
Cholera, which is a deadly water related disease, kills five million people every year. Intestinal worms affect perceiving power of children so that they are not able to study. Women are greatly affected by improper sanitation and they easily transmit disease to their children and other family members. There are many out of school girls as they need more time for fetching water for their daily use.
This goal is to be meeting in some years as the access to clean water has changed from 77 percent to 83 percent during the years 1990 and 2002. Northern Africa has achieved 90 percent of the goal. Countries like Benin, Egypt, Botswana, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia are really doing well and can achieve the target easily. Central African countries don't show any improvements and it has the lowest access to drinking water. But still there are billions of people without access to clean water. China is one of the countries which have poor access to clean water. The reason for this is political instability, population growth and the government is not much concerned about clean water and sanitation improvement. (1)
3.8 DEVELOP A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT:
The Millennium Declaration states that a global partnership must be developed to attain the first seven goals. The main target is to address the needs of the least developed countries and landlocked countries, deal with developing country's debt problems, and develop decent employment for youth and to incorporate with private sector to make the technologies better. Many developing countries needs free access to markets from rich countries and also they need debt relief, official assistance. They face many development challenges and this goal monitors the process and has some targets in order to make the developing countries to meet all the goals.
The rich countries pledged at millennium summit that they will change the policies which will be easier for developing countries. They must incorporate with pharmaceutical industries and produce low cost drugs for poor people. G8 summit decisions regarding debt cancellation and the assistance given to African countries will ease the burden in many developing countries. (1)
Many country reports were not very specific about progress towards the seven targets under this goal. The countries did a report about the target and its progress. Although many selected two or three targets, there is no similarity in addressing the related issues. Many countries failed to be clear and specific on reporting progress with all targets in the goal. Since it took only few years after the declaration, most of them are between declaration and initiative stage. Policy makers made suitable policies which is favourable for developing countries. Yet progress has to be seen since many targets have been failed. (6)
All the goals can be achieved if proper measures are taken and all the actors play their role in a correct manner. World has slowly coming out of the poverty after the implementation of the millennium development goals. But the progress is not uniform across the world as well as across the goals. Inequalities across and within countries made to fail some goals to some extent. Poverty in rural areas is comparatively more than urban areas. Hundred million people in Asia are still in poverty though it shows the fastest growth in achieving the goals. The goal of the United Nation is to put more efforts in certain regions when needed. Thus MDGs can be completely attained only when government and people work together.
· Advocacy can campaign the goals, so every person will come to know about each goals and targets and work to achieve it.
· Rich Countries should make innovative policies which make poor countries to use that easily.
· Constant monitoring of the goals should be done with periodic reports.
· Support government in achieving it.
· Good governance is required in order to implement policies which are beneficial for all the people.
· The poor countries must care about the health and education by investing money with the help of rich countries.
· Many aids awareness programs must be conducted in developing countries in order to reduce the ratio of people dying from this deadly disease.
· International and Intranational conflicts must be avoided in order to reduce poverty and hunger.
1. Black, R White, H 2003, ‘Targeting Development: Critical Perspectives on the Millennium Development Goals', Routledge Publications.
2. ‘Harvard Style' 2003, Citing or referencing electronic sources of information, viewed 30 May 2009,http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
3. ‘Harvard Style' 2003, Citing or referencing electronic sources of information, viewed 1 June 2009,http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/ext/GMIS/home.do?siteId=2
4. ‘Harvard Style' 2003, Citing or referencing electronic sources of information, viewed 31 May 2009,www.uneca.org/mdgs/MDGs_in_Africa.pdf
5. ‘Harvard Style' 2003, Citing or referencing electronic sources of information, viewed 31 May 2009,http://www.undp.org/mdg/
6. ‘Harvard Style' 2003, Citing or referencing electronic sources of information, viewed 2 June 2009,http://www.unicef.org/mdg/
7. Kabeer, A 2003, ‘Gender mainstreaming in poverty eradication and the millennium development goals: a handbook for policy-makers and other stakeholders', Commonwealth Secretariat.
8. Fenwick, A, Molyneux, D, Nantulya, V 2005, ‘Achieving the Millennium Development Goals The Lancet', Vol. 365, Issue 9464, Pages 1029-1030.
9. P.Travis, S.Bennett, A.Haines, T.Pang, Z.Bhutta, A.Hyder, N.Pielemeier, A.Mills, T.Evans., 2004, ‘Overcoming health-systems constraints to achieve the Millennium Development Goals The Lancet, Vol 364, Issue 9437, Pages 900-906.
10. United Nations. Dept Of Public Information, ‘The Millennium Development Goals 2005' United Nations Publications.
11. Wagstaff, A., Claeson, M 2004, ‘ The Millennium Development Goals For Health: Rising To Challenges', World Bank, Washington Dc.