From the Business Mirror, Imelda V. Abaño recorded Sachs' comments.
“We are not running out of time to achieve our development goals,” said Sachs, who is also the director of the Earth Institute and professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. “There is not a goal that can’t be achieved and we need to look at the financial gaps. Instead of commissioning more studies and making more promises, governments should finance, implement and scale up what they had already promised to do.”
In 2006, a suggested figure for achieving the UN plan was $135 billion, rising to $195 billion in 2015.
The MDGs were agreed upon by world leaders at the UN’s Millennium Summit in 2000. They cover eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS; malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and fostering a global partnership for development.
With less than a year to go before the Summit, this moment represents the last chance for the world to get it right by honoring fiscal commitments and standing by their pledges to fund implementation of the targets, Sachs added.
Sachs regards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Millennium Villages as successful examples of financing development. The latter refers to a project of Sachs’ Earth Institute, where experts have been working with the residents of villages in Tanzania and Kenya to address their developmental challenges in a systematic and practical way. Some 200 million people in developing countries have received free insecticide-treated bed nets since the Global Fund’s inception in 2002. Sachs also predicted that a similar fund set up at the World Bank for agriculture with ready access for African agriculture ministers would enable them to double agriculture production in five years.