Global Poverty

Global Poverty

Progress toward the Millennium Development Goals

In 2000, the United Nations established some ambitious but achievable goals for reducing global poverty and hardship. They were called the Millennium Development Goals.  (What are the MDGs?) The plan was to achieve all ten goals by the year 2010 to establish greater economic justice in the new millennium. But progress took longer than expected and the time frame was extended so now the hope is to achieve the goals by 2015. But recently, even before 2015, some of the targets have been reached. We celebrate this progress. The reduction in global poverty and economic hardship is significant and lifesaving for millions of people. 

Improvements in a population's standard of living and material well being can come about in two ways. First, wealthier nations can provide aid and assistance to poorer ones. Second, the rules for the global economic system that govern international trade, investments, debt, flows of workers, and other economic conditions can be made fairer and less disadvantageous to poor countries. Significant and sustained progress requires both these methods. 

Two recent reports show improvements have been made. There has been an important reduction in extreme poverty (people living on the equivalent of less than $1.25/day). Between 2005 and 2008, for the first time ever, the share of the population living in extreme poverty fell in each region of the world. Moreover, the UN’s Millennium Develop Goal to reduce extreme poverty by half compared with its 1990 level has now been met. More and more.  

There have also been gains in providing clean water to everyone. Close to nine out of every 10 people in the world now has access to clean, safe drinking water, according to a new report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. More info. This means the world has achieved the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water in advance of the 2015 deadline.

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Contact Info

Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115