Friday, 18 May 2012

Millenium Development Goals

I have had quite a few requests for this one! Sorry it has taken me a while to get round to doing it but I havent really done that much development revision for the last two weeks as have focused on the other modules!

- MDGs are 8 international development goals the 192 UN members and 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve by 2015
- World's poorest countries pay almost $100 million every day to MDCs in debt. A number of impoverished countries have recently recieved partial or full debt cancellations though
- MDGs are indeed achievbale with the right policies, adequate levels of investment and international support. Yet, progress has been uneven, and several MDGs will be missed by most countries
- LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and those vulnerable to natural hazards or those who have just emerged from civil conflict, experience the most extreme challenges and many therefore will not reach the MDGs
- One of the biggest problems has been the global financial crisis: Progress towards the goals is now threatened by sluggish/negative economic growth, diminshed resources, fewer trade oppurtunties for developing countries and possible reductions in aid flows from donor countries. At the same time, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, with a potenitally devastating impact on countries both rich and poor.

1. Eridicate extreme hunger and poverty (by half)
- Likely to be achieved by 2015 but some will fall far short, leaving 1 billion people in extreme poverty
- Number in extreme poverty fell from 1.8 billion in 1990 to 1.46 billion in 2005
- Number in extreme poverty anticipated to be 55-90 million more than before the global financial crisis - reductions are occuring at a slower rate
- Meagre progress on child nutrition is insufficient to meet the 2015 target, and will likely be eroded by higher food prices and economic turnmoil

2. Achieve universal primary education
- Improvements too slow to meet 2015 target
- More than 10% out of education, in developing world, 88% in education in 2007
- Sub-Saharan Africa improved by 15% from 2000 to 2007
- In 2007, almost 137 million children stepped into classrooms for the first time; 7 million more than in 1999

3. Promote gender equality and empower women
- 95 girls:100 buys in primary education
- Gender gap in school enrolement more evident in secondary education but more women enrolled at tertiary level
- 2005 target not met but 2015 target is likely to be reached

4. Reduce child mortality (by two thirds)
- Deaths in children under 5 has steadily declined
- Many Asian and sub-Saharan countries have made little or no progress
- Increase in deaths from 4.2 million in 1990 to 4.6 million in 2007, due to population growth
- Sub- Saharan Africa now accounts for 1/2 of all deaths among children under 5

5. Improve maternal health (reduce mortality by 3/4 and increase access to health care)
- 14 countries have maternal death rates of 1000 per 100,000 live births
- Half of all maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa
- Very little progress has been made in sub-Saharan Africa, where women face the greatest lifetime risk of dying as a result of pregancy and childbirth

6. Combat disease (halt and reverse spread)
- 67% of AIDS victims live in sub-Saharan Africa
- 1 million people die of malaria in 2006; 95% lived in sub-Saharan Africa and the vast majority where children under 5. Nevertheless, major progress in fighting malaria has been achieved in recent years

7. Ensure environmental sustainabiltiy
- World ahead of schedule in meeting the 2015 drinking targets
- 36% of urban population live in developing world
- 884 million people worldwide still rely on unimproved water sources. Of this, 84% live in rural areas

8. Global partnerships
- Aid remains below UN targets and in 2008, only Scandinavian countries reached this target
- Increased internet connection is helping countries reach MDGS

That are the 8 goals, with a few statistics about each one. The main aim of the UN's MDGs was to lessen disparity in global levels of development; how successful has this been???

The MDGs are a set of 8 targets created by the UN with the aim of increasing development across the world, not just in LDCs, with the end goal of lessening the development gap to increase the qualit of life for the world population. The goals have targetted improvemements that factor in every aspect of development; which is the process of social and economic advanceents that leads to improvements in peoples quality of life and general wellbeing; although does focus on social advancements. The MDGs recognise signficance of demographic constraints on development, hence the goal to reduce CDR, and the intrinsic nature of education in solveing the issue and so the goals are tailored to address this. Whilst, in theory, the goals have outlined improvements required to enable development, in reality the complexity of probelms faced in LDCS are underestimated so there is no qucik fix. Therefore the timescales for reaching the goals is unrealistic in many examples, with 23 sub-Saharan countries predicted to fall drastically short of MDG4 by 2015. There are also many unintended side effects of this goal and for example the education-related tarets encourage increase number of children in educaition, not also improving quality so, as in Sierra Leone, the full benefits of education are not experienced and athe importance of th'Girl Effect' not witnessed. Also the MDG8 is often not prioritised and countries are becoming increasingly unlikely to meet this as they favour economic sustainability at the expense of the environment as TNC presence is the fastest way to initiate cumulative causation. Whilst MDGs outline steps for development, acheiving the goals relies on aid. Unfortunately, though, the MDGs ahs conicided with the global financial crisis and thereby restrcited the speed at which they can be achieved. Therefore the concept of MDGs is idealistically great for aiding and guiding development but in reality timescales are unrealistic and the MDGs underestimate how much additional help LDCs require to achieve them and the importance of colonialism in enabling many MDCs to develop.

A more recent development, that I am sure you all became aware of after our class discussion regarding climate agreements last week, is that at the Rio+20 conference this summer there is an aim to replace the MDGs with SDGs (sustainability development goals)  to ensure that environmentally sustainability is at the heart of development. What do you think about this idea? Will it work? Will it be a better means to lesson global disparity in development compared to MDGs? Let me know what you think!

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