From Business Day, writer Iheanyi Nwachukwu breaks down the report for each of the MDGs, our snippet only contains the first four goals.
The new poverty data (preliminary) as contained in the regional progress on the MDGs show that the proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell from 41.7 percent (1.8 billion people) in 1990 to 25.7 percent (1.4 billion) in 2005, and at this pace the MDG target of halving extreme poverty would be met at the global level by 2015. The East Asia and Pacific region has made dramatic progress in reducing poverty—from 56 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2005. South Asia has cut its poverty rate from 51 percent to 40 percent. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has not shown a consistent downward trend in poverty reduction over time and the number of poor individuals has increased substantially.
According to the report, for this region (SSA) there are serious shortfalls in fighting hunger and malnutrition, which has long been the “forgotten MDG.” The prevalence of undernourishment (percent of the population that is undernourished) has only declined from 20 percent in 1992 to 16 percent in 2004. The recent hike in food prices is eroding the limited gains in reducing hunger.
On the first MDG which targets the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger by half, there are serious shortfalls in fighting hunger. On current trends, the human development MDGs are unlikely to be met. Prospects are gravest for the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, but shortfalls are also likely in other MDGs such as primary school completion The East Asia and Pacific region has made dramatic progress in reducing poverty—from 56 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2005. South Asia has cut its poverty rate from 51 percent to 40 percent. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has not shown a consistent downward trend in poverty reduction over time and the number of poor individuals has increased substantially.
For goal two, which is to achieve universal primary education, progress on this goal has been widespread. “In East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, the primary completion rate is at or close to 100 percent though some countries in these regions are not on track. Middle East and North Africa is on track to achieve this target. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are both not on track to achieve the target, but some countries in these regions have made substantial progress.”
On promoting gender equality and empower women. “Substantial progress has been made in reducing gender disparity in primary and secondary education. South Asia has made the most progress. Middle East and North Africa has also made strides in reducing gender disparity, as has Sub-Saharan Africa.” According to the Global Monitoring Report (GMR), the greatest disparity in girls-to-boys schooling is found in regions with the lowest primary completion rates and lowest average incomes. “All regions except Sub-Saharan Africa are broadly on track to meet the gender parity target, even if some countries in the regions are off track.”
What of goal four? This is to reduce child mortality. GMR said that despite progress, under-five mortality rates remain unacceptably high. “With a child mortality rate of 157 deaths per 1000 live births, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for about half of the deaths of children under five in the developing world. The HIV/AIDS epidemic and civil conflicts have hampered the region’s progress in reducing child mortality. The regions closest to achieving the under-five mortality target are Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and Central Asia, but even in these regions, over half the countries are not on track.”