Millennium 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.
Review of MDG 8 Targets
There was a decline in aid flows towards the end of the twentieth century, though this was reversed early in the new millennium. Net official development assistance (ODA) from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) increased by 66 percent between 2000 and 2014, reaching a peak of $135.2 billion in 2013.
Between 2013 and 2014,
- ODA in the form of net aid for core bilateral projects and programmes remained unchanged at 60 percent of the total value
- Humanitarian aid increased by 22 percent, from $11 billion to $13 billion
- Debt relief grants dropped by 87 percent from $3.6 billion to $476 million
ODA from DAC member nations represented 0.29 percent of their cumulative gross national income in 2014. The top five donor nations by volume were the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Luxembourg continued to exceed the UN’s ODA target of 0.7 percent of GNI. In 2014, the 7 industrialised nations contributed 71 percent of the net ODA from all DAC members, while European Union countries contributed 55 percent of the total.
Aid from non-DAC countries
There has also been an increase in aid from non-DAC nations, though precise figures for all 2014 countries are not yet available. That said, the United Arab Emirates reached the highest GNI ratio of ODA of any country at 1.17 percent. Hungary, Estonia, and Turkey increased their aid compared to the previous year by 24.4, 19.2, and 8.2 percent, respectively.
Decrease of debt burden of developing countries
A nation’s external debt burden impacts its creditworthiness and vulnerability to economic shocks. In 2000, the debt burden of developing nations was 12.0 percent, but by 2013, it had dropped to 3.1 percent – measured as a proportion of external debt service to export revenue. The improvement is attributed to the expansion of trade, better debt management, considerable debt relief for the poorest nations, and favourable borrowing conditions in international capital markets.
The post-2015 development agenda is currently being prepared for launch. But it is important that its scope and drive be matched by sufficient funding and renewed efforts to mobilise innovation, science and technology for sustainable development.
The role of ODA is still important for nations with limited capacity to raise public resources internally. So, much attention should be directed towards raising the capability of ODA to draw in other financial flows by blending it with non-concessional public finance and by leveraging private finance and investments. These market-like tools may play a vital role in funding the post-2015 development agenda.
The trade landscape is also transforming, which will demand more innovative ways to enhance market access and deal with non-tariff barriers, especially as trade in services expands. It will also be critical to strengthen the assimilation of developing nations into the multilateral trade system, as measured by their trade diversification and share in value-added.
Finally, it is important that the widening digital divide be addressed, especially with respect to internet use and quality of access. For instance, only one-third of the population in developing nations uses the internet compared to 82 percent in the developed countries. It is only then that the transformative capability of ICTs and the data revolution can be harnessed to provide sustainable development for all.