Friday, July 17, 2009

The MDG progress report for 2009

Yesterday the United Nations released their annual report on the progress the world has made in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The report says that the global recession has slowed progress in meeting the goals, and in some cases, has even reversed any gains made since the year 2000.

This summary of the report from Mail and Guardian, Faranaaz Parker gives us some statistics found in the report. More from the U.N. after the jump.

The report showed that the proportion of employed people living on less than $1,25 a day (about R10) had returned to 64%. This is a drop of 6% since last year. The figure is now the same as it was ten years ago. In addition, the number of people suffering from hunger increased last year due to escalating food prices -- 29% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished.

The MDG on which the least progress has been made over the years is maternal health. The UN says 536 000 women die during pregnancy, in childbirth or of labour-related complications, and 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. With 900 deaths per 100 000 live births, Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging far behind the rest of the world in maternal health.

Here is a summary of the report from the U.N.'s press release. You can click here to download the entire report.

Gains in the eradication of hunger since the early 1990s—when the proportion of hungry people decreased from 20 per cent in 1990-92 to 16 per cent in 2004-06—were reversed in 2008, largely due to higher food prices. A decrease in international food prices in the second half of 2008 has since failed to translate into more affordable food for most people around the world.

• In the period 1990 to 2005, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day decreased from 1.8 billion to 1.4 billion (prior to the economic crisis and higher food prices). But major gains in the fight against extreme poverty are likely to stall, indicators show, although data are not yet available to reveal the full impact of the recent economic downturn. In 2009, an estimated 55 million to 90 million more people will be living in extreme poverty than anticipated before the crisis.

• More than one-quarter of children in developing regions are underweight for their age, and the meagre progress on child nutrition from 1990 to 2007 is insufficient to meet the 2015 target. This will likely be eroded further by high food prices and economic turmoil.

• Global unemployment in 2009 could reach 6.1 to 7.0 per cent for men and 6.5 to 7.4 per cent for women, many of whom remain trapped in insecure – often unpaid– jobs, holding back progress towards gender equality.

Furthermore, the report suggests that many global gains were due to a dramatic fall in poverty rates in East Asia. Elsewhere, progress has been slower. Sub-Saharan Africa counted 100 million more extremely poor people in 2005 than in 1990, and the poverty rate remained above 50 per cent.

No comments: