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09.07.2014 Business & Finance

UN says poverty rate globally reduces

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Accra, July 08, GNA - The United Nations (UN) has said millions of people's lives have improved due to concerted global, regional, national and local efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UN explained that the level of poverty globally had reduced because many of the MDGs targets had been met and this had led to increase in access to improved drinking water, improving the lives of slum residents and achieving gender parity in primary school.

A UN Report dubbed: 'Momentum builds to achieve more Millennium Development Goals by end of 2015,' report was made available to the GNA in Accra.

The reported quoted the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stating that a large number of lives had improved due to concerted global, regional, national and local efforts to achieve the MDG, which serve as the foundation for the next global development agenda.

The report based on MDG 2014 noted that many more targets were within reach by the 2015 target date. 'If trends continue, the world will surpass MDG targets on malaria, tuberculosis and access to HIV treatment, and the hunger target looks within reach.'

'Other targets, such as access to technologies, reduction of average tariffs, debt relief, and growing political participation by women, show great progress'.

The MDG report is based on comprehensive official statistics and provides the most up-to-date summary of all Goals and their targets at global and regional levels.

According to the report, results showed that concentrated efforts to achieve MDG targets by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are working to lift people out of extreme poverty and improve their futures.

'The MDG are a pledge to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity, and free the world from extreme poverty,' Mr. Ban said; 'The MDGs, with eight goals and a set of measurable time-bound targets, established a blueprint for tackling the most pressing development challenges of our time'.

According to the report, big MDG gains continue. Over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children are saved every day.

Globally, the maternal mortality ratio dropped by 45 per cent between 1990 and 2013. Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has saved 6.6 million lives since 1995, and expanding its coverage could save many more.

The report said between 2000 and 2012, an estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted due to substantial expansion of malaria interventions. Since 1995, efforts to fight tuberculosis saved an estimated 22 million lives.

On the MDG next development agenda, the report said UN Member States are in the midst of considering a broader set of goals to follow that are likely to be agreed to by world leaders in September 2015.

The report said continued progress towards the MDGs in the remaining year is essential for what comes next.

It said Member States are now fully engaged in discussions to define Sustainable Development Goals, which will serve as the core of a universal post-2015 development agenda.

Mr Ki Moon said: 'Our efforts to achieve the MDGs are a critical building block towards establishing a stable foundation for our development efforts beyond 2015'.

However, some MDG targets related to largely preventable problems with available solutions, such as reducing child and maternal mortality and increasing access to sanitation, are slipping away from achievement by 2015, despite major progress.

The report calls on all stakeholders to focus and intensify efforts on the areas where advances have been too slow or not reached all.


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