The Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals which were adopted by the United Nations in 2000. These goals are assigned specific targets to be achieved by the year 2015. All 189 member countries of the United Nations have agreed to try to achieve these goals in these 15 years. De Millennium Development Goals are derived from the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which is signed in September 2000 and commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The Millennium Development Goals are the strongest statement yet of the international commitment to ending global poverty. They represent a partnership between the developing countries and the developed countries to create an environment, at the national and global levels alike, which is conductive to development and the elimination of poverty.
The 8 Millennium Development Goals are stated as follows:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
The Millennium Development Goals are interdependent and should be seen as a whole.
Each Millennium Development Goal has targets set for 2015 and indicators to monitor progress. There has been important progress across all goals, with some targets already having been met well ahead of the 2015 deadline. In the next section each Millennium Development Goal and its progress will be discussed in detail.
Millennium Development Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
The first Millennium Development Goal is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. There are three targets who support this goal. The first target is to halve the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day by 2015. The indicators for monitoring progress of this target are the proportion of people living with less than 1.25 dollar per day, the poverty gap ratio and the share of poorest quintile in national consumption. The proportion of people living with less than 1.25 dollar per day is measured using the purchasing power parity (PPP), which is a technique used to determine the relative value of different currencies. The concept of purchasing power parity allows one to estimate what the exchange rate between currencies would have to be in order for the exchange to be at par with the purchasing power of the countries’ currencies.
The second target of the first Millennium Development Goal is to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people. This target is monitored by the following indicators: the growth rate of GDP per person employed, the employment-to-population ratio, the proportion of employed people living with less than 1.25 dollar per day and the proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment.
The last target is to reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, which is indicated by the following two factors: the prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age and the proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption.
The world has decreased extreme poverty by half. In 1990, almost half of the populations in developing countries lived on less than 1.25 dollar per day. This rate dropped to 22 per cent by 2010, which reduced the number of people living in extreme poverty by 700 million. The other target are not reached yet, but with certain progress they can be reached by 2015.
Todaro, M.P. and Smith, S.C. Economic Development, 11th edition, pp. 23-25.
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