UN Report Shows Progress on Some Millennium Goals

Posted July 7th, 2011 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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A new U.N. report says the world is on track to meet a series of goals to help people become healthier, wealthier, and more educated – but it says despite progress, the world's poorest peoples are the ones getting left farthest behind.

The U.N. Millennium Development Goals Report for 2011 notes progress on the goals set by U.N. members in 1990, with the aim of achieving them by 2015. It says the world as a whole is on track to reduce the poverty rate to below 15 percent, well below the Goals' 23 percent target.

It notes that some of the poorest nations – Burundi, Rwanda, Samoa, Togo, and Tanzania – are getting close to achieving universal education. And the number of deaths among children under age five declined from 12.4 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2009. That means nearly 12,000 fewer children die each day.

But the report says advances in sanitation often bypass the poor and those living in rural areas.

In southern Asia, for example, sanitation coverage – either toilets or other forms of improved sanitation – has stayed nearly the same since 1995 for the poorest 40 percent of households.

The report also says success achieving the Millennium Development goals largely depends on ensuring women's empowerment and equal opportunities for both genders. But after the job losses of the global economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, it has been harder for women to find work than for men. And despite the dropping poverty rate, the proportion of people going hungry worldwide has not changed dramatically.