The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed to by world leaders over a decade ago have achieved important results. Working together, Governments, the United Nations family, the private sector and civil society have succeeded in saving many lives and improving conditions for many more. The world has met some important targets—ahead of the deadline.
• Extreme poverty is falling in every region
For the first time since poverty trends began to be monitored,
the number of people living in extreme poverty and poverty
rates fell in every developing region—including in subSaharan Africa, where rates are highest. The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 47 per cent in 1990 to 24 per cent in 2008—a reduction from over2 billion to less than 1.4 billion.
• The poverty reduction target was met
Preliminary estimates indicate that the global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. If these results are confirmed, the first target of the MDGs—cutting the extreme poverty rate to half its 1990 level—will have been achieved at the global level well ahead of 2015.
• The world has achieved parity in primary education between girls and boys
Driven by national and international efforts and the MDG
campaign, many more of the world’s children are enrolled
in school at the primary level, especially since 2000. Girls
have benefited the most. The ratio between the enrolment rate of girls and that of boys grew from 91 in 1999 to 97
in 2010 for all developing regions. The gender parity index value of 97 falls within the plus-or-minus 3-point margin of 100 per cent, the accepted measure for parity.
• Many countries facing the greatest challenges have made significant progress towards universal primary education
Enrolment rates of children of primary school age increased markedly in sub-Saharan Africa, from 58 to 76 per cent between 1999 and 2010. Many countries in that region
succeeded in reducing their relatively high out-of-school rates even as their primary school age populations were growing…