Newsday Tuesday –Millennium Development Goals: How’d We Do?

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July 14, 2015

We’ve talked a lot over the past few years about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), established back in 2000 as a focused effort to eradicate poverty and improve life around the world. The due date of 2015 has arrived and now we’re able to evaluate the efforts so many have put in to reach the goals.

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Key areas of focus included reducing poverty, expanding access to education, more gender equality, reducing child deaths especially for babies and children under 5, improving health for mothers, and reducing disease. Each of those areas was broken down with short-term targets to reach the larger goals. This must-read article from The Guardian makes each goal’s progress clear, with helpful graphics and charts.

So, how did we do?

Children gather at a health center during Family Health Day; a campaign supported by UNICEF, in the Fort Portal area of Uganda

Children gather at a health center during Family Health Day; a campaign supported by UNICEF, in the Fort Portal area of Uganda

Overall, there were some incredible achievements: more than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, and more children than ever are getting a primary school education, including many more girls than 15 years ago.  The death rate for children under 5 has been cut by more than half: in 1990 there were 90 deaths per 1,000 live births, and in 2015 that number is down to 43. The number of women who die during childbirth has also fallen by nearly half.

More work certainly needs to be done, and in September of this year new goals are on the table. We know progress can be made, we’ve watched it and worked toward it, and we can continue to work together to lift people out of extreme poverty.

These aren’t just lines on a graph. Progress on these goals represents billions of lives on this planet: all working towards better, happier, healthier lives.

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See why the UN has called the Millennium Development Goals, ‘the most successful anti-poverty movement in history.’ Read the full article from The Guardian and check out the details of each goal evaluated.

 

Image: Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for UN Foundation | Shot@Life

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