SDG sustanable development goals

The Sustainable Development Goals – A new framework to address development goals

The Millennium Development Goals expire at the end of 2015, and in their place, a new development structure will take over to scale the progress registered with the MDGs. This new development agenda is referred to as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Framework

The SDGs are the new, global set of 17 goals and 169 targets that UN member states will be expected to refer to when designing their national agendas and political policies for the next fifteen years – until 2030.

The sustainable development goals follow and expand on the MDGs, and have been structured based on a lengthy negotiation process led by the UN Statistical Commission and involving governments and development actors from across the globe to agree on the main priorities beyond 2015. (more…)

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MDGs notable challenges

Outline of the Millennium Development Goals notable challenges

At the start of the century, all 189 United Nations Member States unanimously agreed to forge a commitment via the Millennium Declaration to assist the poorest to achieve better living standards by the year 2015.

In most developing countries, the MDGs have formed a critical element of government policy-decisions for performance benchmarking. Although Africa as a whole has experienced remarkable change since the goals were set in 2000, sub-Saharan Africa is claimed to be the region that has witnessed the least MDG progress compared to other developing regions.

Although considerable achievements have been made on many of the MDG targets universally, progress has not been uniform across the developing regions and nations, leaving substantial gaps. Millions of people are lagging behind, especially the poor and disadvantaged due to their age, sex, ethnicity, disability, and geographic location. (more…)

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Millennium Development Goals Infographic

At the start of the new millennium, global leaders gathered at the United Nations to work on an expansive vision to fight poverty in its multiple dimensions. That vision was translated into eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that have been a milestone in national and universal development priorities for the past 15 years.

As the end of the MDG period approaches, the global community has reason to celebrate. Thanks to resolute global, regional, national, and local efforts, the MDGs have not only saved the lives of millions, but also improved the conditions for many more.

Nearly all of the eight MDGs have been achieved before the final 2015 deadline, or were very near to hitting the targets, though progress has been uneven within and across regions and countries. As such, further efforts and an even stronger global partnership for development is necessary to accelerate progress in the post-2015 era.

Post-2015 sustainable development goals

The Global Goals build on the eight MDGs anti-poverty targets to ensure that no one is left behind. Here is a look at what has been achieved and what the Global Goals will strive to achieve: (more…)

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MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development

MDG8_LogoMillennium development goal 8 has 6 targets that seek to develop global partnership for development, namely:

  • To further develop an open, predictable, rule-based, non-discriminatory trading and economic system
  • To address the special needs of the least developed countries
  • To address the special needs of small island developing States and landlocked developing countries
  • To deal exhaustively with the debt problems of developing nations
  • To provide access to affordable essential drugs in the developing world – in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies
  • To avail benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications, in collaboration with the private sector

Some of the achievements of MDG 8 include:

  • A 66 percent increase in official development assistance from developed nations in real terms in the period 2000 to 2014, reaching $135.2 billion
  • In 2014, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Luxembourg continued to exceed the UN official development assistance target of 0.7 percent of gross national income
  • Imports from developing to developed countries admitted duty free increased from 65 percent in 2000 to 79 percent in 2014
  • The proportion of external debt service to export revenue in the developing world reduced from 12 to 3 percent between 2000 and 2013.
  • 95 percent of the global population is covered by a mobile-cellular signal as of 2015
  • The number of mobile-cellular subscription has grown by nearly tenfold in the last 15 years, from 738 million to over 7 billion between 2000 and 2015
  • Internet penetration has increased from about 6 percent of the global population to 43 percent between 2000 and 2015. Consequently, 3.2 billion people are now linked to an international network of content and applications.


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MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability


It is critical that the natural resources base and ecosystems are managed sustainably to ensure that people’s food requirements and other social, economic, and environmental needs are sufficiently met. Climate change, conflicts over access to resources, and increased water scarcity all pose a threat to not only environmental sustainability, but also food security.

As such, millennium development goal 7 has 4 targets:

  1. To integrate the principles of sustainable development into every nation’s policies and programmes, and also reverse the depletion of environmental resources
  2. To reduce biodiversity loss and achieve a substantial reduction in the rate of loss by 2010
  3. To halve the proportion of the universal population without sustainable access to clean and safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
  4. To achieve substantial improvement in the lives of a minimum of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

An estimated 30 percent of total land area on the planet is forested. An estimated 1.6 billion people depend on forests directly for their livelihoods, plus they provide other benefits enjoyed by all, including clean air and water. Forests also provide a habitat for millions of plants and animals, as well as catchment for 75 percent of the world’s fresh water. They help in the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, though they are under threat from deforestation.

Hunger and poverty tend to compel the disadvantaged to over-exploit resources on which their livelihoods depend. Policies, institutions, and strategies for protecting, conserving, and enhancing natural resources should be strengthened to deliver an enabling environment, and be based on the specific resource challenged faced in a given location.

Some of the achievements of MDG 7 include:

  • The virtual elimination of ozone-depleting substances since 1990. Consequently, the ozone layer is expected to recover by around the middle of the century
  • Substantial increase in marine and terrestrial protected areas in many areas since 1990. In Caribbean and Latin America, coverage of terrestrial protected areas increased from 8.8 percent in 1990 to 23.4 percent in 2014.
  • The number of people using improved drinking water sources has increased from 76 percent in 1990 to 91 percent in 2015.
  • 2.6 billion people have gained access to better drinking water since 1990. Of these, 1.9 billion have access to piped drinking water on premises, with 58 percent of the global population enjoying this level of service in 2015.
  • 147 nations in the world have fulfilled the drinking water target; 95 nations have achieved the sanitation target; and 77 nations have met both.
  • 2.1 billion people in the universe have gained access to improved sanitation. At the same time, the proportion of people practising open defecation has reduced by nearly 50 percent since 1990.
  • A reduction in the proportion of urban population in developing nations living in slums from 39.4 to 29.7 percent in the period between 2000 and 2014.


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MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseasesHIV, malaria, and other diseases directly and indirectly impact food and nutrition security, rural development, and agricultural productivity. At the same time, malnutrition and food and nutrition insecurity can increase vulnerability to disease.

In this regard, millennium development goal 6 has three targets:

  1. To halt by 2015 and have started to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
  2. To achieve global access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for those who need it by 2010
  3. To have ceased and started reversal of the incidence of malaria and other major diseases by 2015

Some of the achievements of MDG 6 include:

  • 40 percent reduction in new HIV infections from 3.5 million cases in 2000 to 2.1 million cases in 2013
  • A massive increase in the number of people living with HIV receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) globally, from 800,000 in 2003 to 13.6 million in 2014. ART have helped avoid over 7.6 million deaths from AIDS between 1995 and 2013.
  • Averting over 6.2 million deaths associated with malaria between 2000 and 2015, mostly of children under five years in sub-Saharan Africa. The universal malaria incidence rate has also reduced by an estimated 37 percent, and the mortality rate by 58 percent.
  • The delivery of over 900 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2014.
  • Tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis, and treatment interventions conducted between 2000 and 2013 saved an estimated 37 million lives. The TB mortality rate reduced by 45 percent between 1990 and 2013, while prevalence rate fell by 41 percent within the same time period.


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MDG 5: Improve maternal health

MDG 5: Improve maternal health

Improve maternal healthHunger and malnutrition were observed to increase the incidence and fatality rate of the conditions that contribute to nearly 80 percent of maternal deaths.

In this regard, millennium development goal 5 has two targets:

  1. To reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent
  2. To achieve universal access to reproductive health

Improving maternal health is critical to saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of women who die due to complication from pregnancy and childbirth each year. Over 90 percent of these deaths could be prevented if women in developing regions had access to sufficient diets, basic literacy and health services, and safe water and sanitation facilities during pregnancy and childbirth.

Some of the achievements of MDG 5 include:

  • A 45 percent reduction in the maternity mortality ratio worldwide since 1990, though most of the reduction occurred since 2000
  • A 64 percent reduction in maternal mortality ratio in Southern Asia between 1990 and 2013, and 49 percent in sub-Saharan Africa
  • A 12 percent increase in the number of births assisted by skilled health personnel globally in 2014 compared to 1990 – 59 percent to 71 percent.
  • An increase in the proportion of pregnant women receiving four or more antenatal visits in North Africa from 50 percent in 1990 to 89 percent in 2014.
  • Increase in contraceptive prevalence among women 15 – 49 years old – whether married or in some other union – from 55 to 64 percent between 1990 and 2015.


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MDG 4: Reduce child mortality

The millennium development goal 4 has only one target:

  1. To reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds in the period between 1990 and 2015MDG4

Undernutrition is estimated to contribute to more than 33 percent of all deaths in children under five. So, efforts to improve household food security and nutrition have increased the chances of children growing to adulthood.

In this regard, FAO programmes, in combination with efforts by the Renewed Efforts against Child Hunger and Undernutrition (REACH) and WHO, WFP, and UNICEF have helped communities and households secure access to nutritionally adequate diets to minimise child undernutrition. Efforts include the provision of training materials, community-centred initiatives, training programmes for local and national staff, nutrition education programmes, and promotion of forums on community nutrition and household food security.

Improving complementary feeding for babies, or giving foods in addition to breast milk, has led to significant reduction in the child mortality caused by undernutrition. (more…)

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mdg-3-promote gender equality and empower women

MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

There was only one target under millennium development goal 3:

  1. To eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005, and in all levels of education by 2015.

mdg-3-promote gender equality and empower womenIt is important to promote the total and equitable participation of both men and women in efforts aimed at improving poverty reduction, food security, and sustainability of rural development. Without gender equality and the economic and social improvement for rural women, food security cannot be achieved.

Some of the achievements of MDG 3 include:

  • An increase in the number of girls in school in 2015 compared to 2000. The developing world as a whole has achieved the goal of eliminating gender disparity in all levels of education, including primary, secondary, and tertiary.
  • In Southern Asia, the number of girls enrolled in primary school was 74 for every 100 boys in 1990. By 2015, there were 103 girls enrolled for every 100 boys.
  • The proportion of women in vulnerable employment compared to total female employment has reduced by 13 percent in the period between 1991 and 2015, compared to a 9 percent decrease for men.
  • Significant gains in women’s parliamentary representation in nearly 90 percent of 174 countries for which data has been available in the past two decades. At the very least, the average proportion of women in parliament has increased by nearly 100 percent during the last 20 years, yet this still translates to one woman for every five men.


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mdg-2 achieve universal primary education

MDG 2: ­Achieve universal primary education

There is only one target for millennium development goal 2:

  1. To ensure that children universally – including both boys and girls – will be able to complete a full course of primary education by 2015.

mdg-2 achieve universal primary education

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN claims that nearly 57 million primary school age children are not able to attend school; 80 percent of whom live in rural areas. This has made the urban-rural knowledge and education divide today’s main obstacle to achieving global primary education by 2015.

The fact that rural children are highly affected by hunger and malnutrition has also seriously affected their learning ability. As such, food security and primary education should be addressed at the same time to give rural people the capacity to feed themselves and overcome hunger, poverty, and illiteracy. Social protection brings together all efforts for education and food security towards increased effectiveness. (more…)

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