Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Recent gains in eradicating hunger and poverty endangered by economic and food crises

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009 was released on 6 July 2009.

The report finds that more than halfway to the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), major advances in the fight against poverty and hunger have begun to slow or even reverse as a result of the global economic and food crises.

The assessment also warns that, despite many successes, overall progress has been too slow for most of the targets to be met by 2015.

Progress Needs to be Accelerated in Africa
The proportion of the population in sub-Saharan Africa living below the World Bank’s new international poverty line of $1.25 a day decreased from 55.7 per cent in 1990 to 50.3 per cent in 2005 – showing some progress, but far from the pace needed to reach the over-arching Millennium Development Goal of halving the rate of poverty by 2015, according to a just-released UN report.

Because of population growth, the number of people in sub-Saharan Africa living in extreme poverty actually grew by 100 million over this period.

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 provides statistical evidence of the progress that sub-Saharan Africa has made in addressing the multiple dimensions and causes of this extensive poverty.

As a sign of potentially better prospects in the future, the region’s total net enrolment ratio in primary education increased from 54 to 58 per cent between 1991 and 2000, and then accelerated to 71 per cent in 2006. Girls account for an increasing share of this total, with the gender parity index rising from 83 per cent in 1991 to 85 per cent in 2000 and 89 per cent in 2006. Despite these improvements, the region will have to intensify its efforts if it is to achieve the Goal of universal primary education by 2015 and the target of primary school gender equality, originally set for 2005. At the secondary level, there has been a slight deterioration in the gender parity ratio, with the number of girls enrolled falling from 82 per cent of the number of boys in 2000 to 80 per cent in 2006.

The UN report also points to accelerated, but narrow and insufficient improvements on the health front. Most notably, primarily thanks to the increasing availability of anti-retroviral drugs, the number of deaths from AIDS has halted its seemingly inexorable increase. The corollary is that, because infected people now survive longer, the number of those living with the disease continues to increase. Among these, the majority are women, who now account for almost 60 per cent of those with the disease in the region.

The proportion of people living with HIV who need treatment and are receiving antiretroviral therapy rose from 21 to 30 per cent between 2006 and 2007, mostly thanks to the substantial amount of public and private external funding provided for this purpose. Here again, despite the progress, there remain some 5 million people in the region who do not have access to the therapy they require.

The lack of health care services is among the factors that contribute to the high number of deaths of children under five years of age. From 184 deaths per 1000 births in 1990, infant mortality fell to 157 in 2007, but this remains almost twice the figure for Southern Asia, the region with the second highest rate.

There was almost no improvement in the region’s very high rate of maternal mortality between 1990 and 2005. A woman in sub-Saharan Africa has a 0.9 per cent chance of dying as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, again roughly more than twice the rate of the second-highest region, Southern Asia. A major reason is that, in 2006, less than half of all mothers-to-be were attended to by skilled health care personnel when giving birth. The intolerably high maternal mortality rate highlights the need for expanded and improved basic health services throughout the region, particularly in the rural areas.

The extent to which women are able to contribute to and benefit from development in the region has been increasing. Women accounted for 31 per cent of non-agricultural wage employment in 2006, compared to 25 per cent in 1990. But women are confined to the more unstable and insecure jobs: more than 80 per cent of women who work are self-employed or unpaid family workers. In terms of political participation, female representation in parliaments has more than doubled since 1990 and, at 17.3 per cent, is higher than the overall average in the developing world.

Full text of the Report (English) :
Press Release (English) :
Data used to prepare the report:

Rapport 2009 sur les objectifs du Millénaire
Les crises économiques et alimentaires mettent en péril les récentes avancées dans le domaine de l’éradication de la faim et de la pauvreté, révèle un rapport de l’ONU. Le Secrétaire général de l'ONU appellent les pays richent et pauvres à intensifier leurs efforts et à respecter les engagements en matière d'aide.

Alors qu’il reste moins de la moitié du chemin à parcourir avant la date butoir de 2015 pour la réalisation des objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement, les grands progrès dans la lutte contre la pauvreté et la faim commencent à ralentir, voire à s’inverser à cause des crises économiques et alimentaires mondiales, révèle un rapport sur le sujet publié par les Nations Unies.

Cette évaluation, que le Secrétaire général de l’ONU Ban Ki-moon a rendue publique à Genève, prévient qu’en dépit de nombreux succès, les progrès ont été trop lents dans l’ensemble pour atteindre la plupart des cibles fixées pour 2015.

Rapport 2009 - texte complet:

1 comment:

PPD Africa said...

Recently Ban Ki-Moon published a related New York Times opinion piece calling for "international solidarity" to combat "multiple crises," including the global economic situation, climate change and extreme poverty. In the article, Ban outlines three areas for action: mobilizing resources to monitor the impact of the economic crisis in developing countries in real time, maintaining global commitments "to help women and men move from vulnerability to opportunity," and a reformation of international institutions. Ban writes that "without adequate regulation, a breakdown in one part of the system has profound repercussions elsewhere," concluding, "[c]hallenges are linked. Our solutions must be, too" (Ban, 7/2).

Read his entire opinion piece here: