NEW YORK — In September 2000, world leaders from across the globe gathered to adopt the U.N. Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals. These goals consisted of eight main objectives and a series of sub-targets aimed to substantially alleviate global poverty by the year 2015.
Now that 2015 is here, it’s time to assess our progress. While significant gains have been made in all eight Millennium Development Goals, many targets still fall short of the original objectives set forth in 2000.
The following is part two of two in a list of the eight original Millennium Development Goals and a summary of the MDG progress made in each area thus far. The statistics below were derived from the World Bank and the U.N. 2014 Millennium Development Goals Report, published in June 2014. In general, data is only currently available through 2013. Data trends after 2013 have been forecasted.
To see part one of two, please click here.
Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
Target 6: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
Target Status: Improved, But Not Achieved
- The worldwide maternal mortality ratio (maternal deaths per 100,000 live births among women aged 15-49) decreased from 380 in 1990 to 210 in 2013 – a forty-five percent decrease.
- The maternal mortality ratio in the developing world decreased from 430 in 1990 to 230 in 2013 – a 47 percent decrease.
- In 2013, the maternal mortality ratio in the developing world was 14 times higher than the developed world.
- In 2013, 62 percent of maternal deaths took place in Sub-Saharan Africa, and twenty-four percent took place in Southern Asia.
Target 6B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
Target Status: Improved, But Not Achieved, With Slow Progress in Developing World
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of single or married women aged 15-49 using contraception increased from 13 percent in 1990 to 26 percent in 2012.
- In 2012, 25 percent of single and married women aged 15-49 living in Sub-Saharan Africa reported a desire to delay or avoid pregnancy, but had not used any form of contraception.
- In the developing world, the adolescent birth rate (number of births to women aged 15-19 per 1000 births) decreased from 64 in 1990 to 54 in 2000.
- In the developing world, the proportion of women aged 15-49 attended by any provider four or more times during pregnancy increased from 37 percent in 1990 to 52 percent in 2012.
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases
Target 7: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Target Status: Improved, But Not Achieved
- Almost 600 children died every day of AIDS-related causes in 2012.
- In 2012, nearly 17.8 million children aged 0-17 globally had lost either one or both parents to AIDS.
- Still, there are improvements. The HIV incidence rate (estimated number of new HIV infections per year per 100 people aged 15-49) within developing regions decreased from .1 (1 out of every 1000 people) in 2001 to .06 (6 out of every 10,000 people) in 2012.
- In Southern Africa, the HIV infection rate declined by 44 percent between 2001 and 2012. The region was responsible for 70 percent of new infections in 2012.
- In June 2014, the UN Global Development Report estimated that 15 million people would receive antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2015 – the original objective.
- However, new guidelines mean that the number of patients eligible for retroviral therapy has increased from 15.4 million to 27 million in developing regions.
- By 2012, only 30 percent of those living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy.
Target 7B: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Target Status: Achieved, Though Challenges Remain
- Between 2001 and 2012, expansion of malaria intervention efforts led to a 42 percent decline in malaria mortality rates globally.
- Although projections in June 2014 indicate the target was met, over 3 billion people are still considered at risk of infection.
- While insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) have proven to be effective in combatting malaria and more than 700 million of these ITNs were delivered to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, only 36 percent of the population living in malaria-risk regions of Sub-Saharan Africa used an ITN in 2013.
- Globally, the number of new tuberculosis cases has continued to fall.
- It was estimated that the MDG target of halting the spread and reversing the incidence of tuberculosis will be achieved by the end of 2015.
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Target 8. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources
Target Status: Partially Achieved, Though Reverse Progress Made in Some Areas
- Global emissions of carbon dioxide (in billions of metric tons) increased from 21.6 in 1990 to 32.2 in 2011.
- Global consumption of ozone-depleting substances decreased by over 98 percent between 1986 and 2013.
- All countries had stopped the use of major ozone-depleting substances by 2010, and any remaining ODS will be phased out gradually over the next two decades.
Target 8B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
Target Status: Partially Achieved, Though Reverse Progress Made in Some Areass
- The percentage of terrestrial and marine areas protected globally has increased from 8.3 percent in 1990 to 14 percent in 2012.
- The most substantial increases have been observed in Western Asia and Latin America/Caribbean, which now protect 14.7 percent and 20 percent of terrestrial and marine areas, respectively.
- The Red List Index (compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) shows that, overall, species are declining in population and distribution and therefore moving faster towards extinction.
Target 8C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
Target Status: Achieved in 2010
- In 2012, 89 percent of the world population had access to an improved drinking source, up from 76 percent in 1990.
- Of the 2.3 billion people gaining access to an improved source of drinking water between 1990 and 2012, 1.6 billion gained access to a piped drinking water supply.
- Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa still lag behind the target, with only 56 and 64 percent of the respective populations gaining access to improved drinking water by 2012.
Target 8D: Achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers
Target Status: On Track to Be Achieved, Although Slum Population is Growing
- The proportion of urban population dwellers in developing countries living in slums has declined from roughly 46 percent to 33 percent between 1990 and 2012.
- The total urban population living in slums has increased over the same time period, shifting from 650 million in 1990 to 863 million in 2012.
- In 2012, “the proportion of people living in slum conditions in urban areas was particularly high in Sub-Saharan Africa (62 per cent) and, to a lesser extent, in Southern Asia (35 percent), compared to 24 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 13 per cent in North Africa.” – U.N. Millennium Development Goal Report 2014
- One way to inhibit the growth of slums is to build more streets, as well-designed streets allow for construction of basic water and sanitation facilities.
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Target 9A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
Target Status: Partially Achieved
- By 2012, 84 percent of landlocked developing countries (LDCs) exports entered developed countries’ markets duty-free.
Target 9B: Address the special needs of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
Target Status: Achieved, Though Aid is Shifting Away From Poorest Countries
- “Official development assistance (ODA) stood at $134.8 billion in 2013 – the highest level ever recorded” – U.N. Millennium Development Goal Report 2014
- This ODA level represented 0.3 per cent of developed countries’ combined gross national income.
- Net bilateral aid to Africa (where 34 of the 48 LDCs are located), fell by 5.6 percent in 2013, and studies suggest a continued decline. This is expected to be a result of reduced access to grant resources, upon which LDCs are highly dependent.
Target 9C: Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt
Target Status: Partially Achieved
- The debt burden of developing countries (defined as external debt service payments as a proportion of export revenues) declined from 12 percent in 2000 to 3.1 percent in 2012.
- The decline remained stagnant between 2010 and 2012.
Target 9D: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications
Target Status: Achieved
- Globally, the number of mobile phone subscribers increased from 2.2 billion in 2005 to a projected 6.9 billion in 2014.
- The number of Internet users worldwide increased from one billion in 2005 to a projected 2.9 billion in 2014.
- Still, by 2014, it was projected that only 21 percent of people in the developing world had an active mobile-broadband subscription, compared with 84 percent in the developed world.
– Katrina Beedy
Sources: UN, UN Millennium Project
Photo: Thousand Days