Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Two successes of the MDGs

Many agree that the Millennium Development Goals will not be reached by the target year of 2015. Despite possibly falling short, the Goals have done something positive in giving the world benchmarks to measure progress. Even though the goals may be unrealistic, they still gave many something to strive for.

An article in today's Christian Science Monitor tires to relate what good the Goals have done. The Monitor article from Drew Hinshaw gives the top 5 MDG success stories. For our snippet, we are limited to giving you the top 2. Liesbet Steer of the Overseas Development Institute in London provides some quotes for Hinshaw.

1. Africa's future

There's one sector where Africa has undoubtedly soared: Education.

The percentage of children in school desks leaped from 52 to 74 percent since 1990. The continent started the race with many of the lowest enrollment rates, but even in absolute terms, Africa boasts nine of the top performers on boosting enrollment. Look at Madagascar – the country was temporarily overthrown and ruled by a disc jockey last year, but has managed to put 99 percent of its kids in school.

2. Ghana, Ethiopia, and Africa’s success stories

Viewed through the unflattering lens of bad governance, Africa’s less-than-stellar performance on poverty reduction during the financial crisis makes sense, says Steer. The continent’s poverty rate has dropped only 12 percent in the past 18 years. Infant mortality has barely fallen at all.

But the first decade of the new millennium hasn’t been a complete wash for the earth’s oldest continent, Hay says.

"Sub-Saharan [Africa] is moving more slowly, but it’s moving,” he offered.

The West African nation of Ghana stands out as a success story. It's cut hunger levels by 75 percent since 1990.

Across the continent, in Ethiopia, the percentage of people scraping by on $1.25 a day cascaded from 60 percent to 16 percent.

Angola and the Senegal have already halved their poverty rates.

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