NEW YORK CITY – In 1990 the United Nations set the bar high working towards halving the number of people in the world suffering from hunger by 2015 as part of the Millennium Development Goals. The UN’s goals not only include reducing global hunger and poverty, but they also focus on areas such as creating gender equality, stopping the spread of AIDS, improving child and maternal health, improving education, and working on environmental stability.
Recently the UN announced that the world is making progress to possibly reach these goals by their deadline, despite the setbacks. One of the dilemmas is that the amount of aid is dwindling. Between 2010 and 2011, aid dropped by two percent, and fell by an additional four percent in 2012. The money received is also going to the wrong places, with the poorest countries’ amount of aid received dropping thirteen percent in just one year.
The world’s resources are also being depleted more rapidly, creating another obstacle. Forests, animal species, and other natural resources are becoming more scarce, and at the same time the world is experiencing climate change, which affects the poor the greatest.
But, on the bright side, there are significant positives. For one, there are 59 million fewer young children who are malnourished today than there were in 1990. Also, the UN reached one of their targets five years early—the goal to cut in half the number of people living in extreme poverty, or less than $1.25 per day.
Overall, the UN is unsure about whether the world can meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. With the numerous setbacks over the past years, any progress made could be insufficient in order to achieve the necessary results. But, on the other hand, UN leader Ban Ki-moon explained that the MDGs have been the most productive and successful anti-poverty campaigns ever, and with continued progress, the goals may be within reach.
– Katie Brockman