From World Bank PovertyNet Newsletter #113, April 2008:
A new World Bank-IMF report warns that most countries will fall short on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight globally agreed development goals with a due date of 2015. Though much of the world is set to cut extreme poverty in half by then, prospects are gravest for the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, with serious shortfalls also likely in primary school completion, nutrition, and sanitation goals.
“In this Year of Action on the MDGs, I am particularly concerned about the risks of failing to meet the goal of reducing hunger and malnutrition, the ‘forgotten MDG’,” said Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank. “As the report shows, reducing malnutrition has a ‘multiplier’ effect, contributing to success in other MDGs including maternal health, infant mortality, and education.”
The Global Monitoring Report: MDGs and the Environment—Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development stresses the link between environment and development and calls for urgent action on climate change. The report warns that developing countries stand to suffer the most from climate change and the degradation of natural resources. To build on hard-won gains, developing countries need support to address the links between growth, development and environmental sustainability.
“Developing countries need more foreign aid and domestic resources to reach the MDGs. High economic growth and a stable macroeconomic environment remain essential for reducing poverty and increasing investment in health and education.” said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF Managing Director.
Progress toward the MDGs differs dramatically across countries, regions, and income groups, the report says. Sub-Saharan Africa lags on all counts, including the goal for poverty reduction, though many countries in the region are now experiencing improved growth performance. At the country level, most countries are off track to meet most MDGs, with those in fragile situations falling behind most seriously.
With stronger efforts by the countries themselves and their development partners, most MDGs remain achievable for most countries, the report says. With this in mind, the report lays out an integrated six-point agenda, with strong, inclusive growth at the top. The agenda also calls for more effective aid; a successful outcome to the Doha round of trade talks; more emphasis on strengthening programs in health, education and nutrition; and financing and technology transfers to support climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Go here for the report: http://www.worldbank.org/gmr2008