Over the years, we’ve been inundated with the statistics and the pictures of poverty around the world-so much so that many people in both the North and South have come to accept it as an unfortunate but unalterable state of affairs. The truth, however, is that things have changed in recent years. The world today is more prosperous than it ever has been. The technological advances we have seen in recent years have created encouraging new opportunities to improve economies and reduce hunger.
B. The Targets
Target 1a: Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
- Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
- Poverty gap ratio
- Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
Target 1b: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
- Growth rate of GDP per person employed
- Employment-to-population ratio
- Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
- Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment
Target 1c: Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
- Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
- Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption
C. Did You Know?
- Eleven million children below age five still die every year from preventable causes – about 30,000 a day.
- If worldwide trends continue through 2015, the reduction in mortality among children under five will be about one quarter, far from the target of a two thirds reduction.
- By the end of 2001, an estimated 13 million children under 15 had lost one or both parents to AIDS in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Each year, roughly 15 million hectares of forest are cleared, generally in developing countries, resulting in increases in vector-borne diseases, declines in the quantity and quality of water, and more floods, landslides, and local climate changes.
- At a minimum, 1 million people die from malaria each year. Governments should promote the use of essential antimalarial intervention tools such as medicines, insecticides, insecticide-treated nets, and indoor residual spraying. Such public goods should be available free of cost to populations at risk for malaria. These efforts will require donor community participation to mobilize resources, as malaria-endemic countries cannot afford to implement these programs on their own.
- Seventy-four countries, with more than one-third of the world’s population, are not on track to halve income poverty by 2015.
- Ninety-three countries, with 62 percent of the world’s population, are not on track to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015.
- Income is very unequally distributed across the world: the richest 20% have 74% of the income while the poorest 20% only have 2% of the incomeHunger continues to be a global tragedy.
- That even in the poorest countries, the Goals can still be met by 2015. The Millennium Project’s report outlines what needs to be done, where immediate action should be taken, and how much it would cost. For more info, visit the Millennium Project Website.
- At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a global partnership to reduce poverty, improve health, and promote peace, human rights, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.
- The MDG goals are ends in themselves, but they are also the means to a productive life, to economic growth, and to further development. A healthier worker is a more productive worker. A better educated worker is a more productive worker.
- The Millennium Project recommends that private sector firms and organizations should contribute actively to policy design, transparency initiatives and, where appropriate, public-private partnerships.
- The Millennium Project recommends that high-income countries should open their markets to developing country exports through the Doha trade round and help Least Developed Countries raise export competitiveness through investments in critical trade-related infrastructure, including electricity, roads, and ports. The Doha Development Agenda should be fulfilled and the Doha Round completed no later than 2006.
- Hunger continues to be a global tragedy. Its elimination requires a concerted and persistent worldwide effort. The Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger is convinced that hunger can be halved by 2015. Indeed, the task force will not be satisfied with the attainment of that goal; it sees reaching the hunger MDG as a milestone in the global effort to eradicate hunger.
- The White Band is the international symbol to show your support for an end to global poverty. By wearing a White Band, you become part of a worldwide campaign that is rallying millions of people around the world to demand that the world leaders live up to their promises to end poverty. Visit The Millennium Campaign or http://www.noexcuse2015.org for more information.
- That you can join existing networks to help. Many large organizations are already working on poverty issues, and supporting them is one way to build support for the Goals. Visit the Millennium Project’s civil society links page to see a list of groups that have supported the Millennium Project’s recommendations.
[Source: Halving Hunger, It Can Be Done, Millennium Project, 2005]