Turn on your TV, radio or pick up a newspaper and you might be forgiven for thinking that nothing has changed over the last 20 - 30 years in countries stricken by poverty (many reading this, will immediately think "Africa". Remember, Africa is a huge contenant made up of 54 countries, many of which are as developed as some in Europe). BUT, you may have to think again..... Progress is being made at a startling rate!
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) were a commitment entered into by world leaders in the year 2000 in order to:
"spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty" by the end of 2015.
The MDG's have proved to be the most successful anti-poverty movement in human history. A re-think of the progress being made globally in the fight against extreme poverty may be required.
To start at the beginning, EIGHT MDG's were agreed upon by world leaders in 2000. These were:
MDG 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
MDG 2 - Achieve universal primary education
MDG 3 - Promote gender equality and empower women
MDG 4 - Reduce child mortality
MDG 5 - Improve maternal health
MDG 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
MDG 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability
MDG 8 - Develop a global partnership for development
More than one billion people have been assisted out of extreme poverty
The very observant of you will have noticed that the majority of the above, forms the framework for Nurture Africa's work in Uganda, placing this organiastion (responsible for Irish tax payers money through our partnership with Irish Aid) very much at the forefront of this quest to end the injustice of extreme poverty.
The UN has just released its Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 and the results are staggering...... The global effort implemented through the MDG's has resulted in lifting more than ONE BILLION people out of extreme poverty.
To break the numbers down a bit further.....
MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty has more than halved
The number of people living in the working middle class (living on more than $4 a day) has almost tripled.
Families living on less than $1.25 a day (poverty line) has dropped by approximately 70%.
The proportion of undernourished people in developing countries has almost halved to 13 in every 100.
Nurture Africa intervention: Through our projects in Uganda, assisting people to break the cycle of poverty that exist in their lives is Nurture Africa's number one target.
MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
Nine of every ten children in developing regions are now enrolling in primary school.
The number of out-of-school primary school aged children worldwide has fallen by nearly 50%
The literacy rate among youth aged 15 to 24 has increased globally from 83% to 91% and the gap between women and men has narrowed.
Nurture Africa intervention: Through our Education Enablment Project, Nurture Africa is supporting over 6000 children through primary school education.
MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
As many girls as boys are now accessing education. Developing regions as a whole have achieved the target to eliminate gender disparity in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in
1990. Today, 103 girls are enrolled for every 100 boys.
Women now make up 41% of paid workers outside the agricultural sector, an increase from 35% in 1990.
Between 1991 and 2015, the proportion of women in vulnerable employment as a share of total female employment has declined 13 percentage points. In contrast, vulnerable employment among men fell by 9 percentage points.
Women have gained ground in parliamentary representation in nearly 90% of the 174 countries with data over the past 20 years. The average proportion of women in parliament has nearly doubled during the same period. Yet still only one in five members are women.
Nurture Africa intervention: Through our Education Enablement Project, we practiced a 6:4 bias in favour of girls to ensure greater female enrollment in education.
Our Sustainable Livelihoods Project empowers female guardians (predominantly) with the necessary skills and micro-finance support to enable themselves to become financially self-sufficient and break the cycle of poverty that exists in their own lives.
Nurture Africa is supporting over 6000 children throiugh its Education Enablement Project
MDG 4: Reduce child mortality
The global under-five mortality rate has declined by more than half (still in 2015, 6 million under-five year olds are dying annually. Many from treatable conditions)
In sub-Saharan Africa, the annual rate of reduction of under-five mortality was over five times faster during 2005–2013 than it was during 1990–1995
Measles vaccination helped prevent nearly 15.6 million deaths between 2000 - 2013 Subsequently, the number of reported measles cases declined by 67% for the same period
8 - 9 of every 10 children worldwide received at least one dose of measles containing vaccine in 2013
Nurture Africa intervention: Within the Nurture Africa Health Centre and trough our HIV Community Healthcare Programme we are providing HIV infected children and their parents/guardians access to to treatment and care.
Our Primary Healthcare Project offers free primary healthcare to vulnerable children and is focused upon tackiling killer illnesses such as malaria, measles, pneumonia, diarrhoea etc.
There are over 10,000 children registered within the health centre for PHC. Nurture Africa implements vaccination clinics once a month within the Nurture Africa Health Centre.
MDG 5: Improve maternal health
Maternal mortality rate has declined by 45% worldwide
7 in 10 births were assisted by skilled health personnel globally in 2014
In Northern Africa, 9 of every 10 pregnant women received four or more antenatal visits in 2014
Contraceptive prevalence among women aged 15 to 49 increased to 64% in 2014
Nurture Africa intervention: With the opening of Phase II of the Nurture Africa Health Centre, there will be an increased focus on providing ante-natal and post-natal care in order to ensure the best possible care and attention is provided to expectant and recent new mothers attending the Nurture Africa health centre sharply focusing on the prevention of spread of HIV from mother to child.
MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
New HIV infections fell by approximately 40% between 2000 and 2013
By June 2014, 13.6 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally, an immense increase from just 800,000 in 2003. ART averted 7.6 million deaths from AIDS between 1995 and 2013.
The global malaria incidence rate has fallen by an estimated 37% and the mortality rate by 58%
More than 900 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets were delivered to malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2014
The tuberculosis mortality rate fell by 45% and the prevalence rate by 41% between 1990 and 2013, saving an estimated 37 million lives
Nurture Africa intervention: Through our HIV Community Healthcare Project Nurture Africa is providing HIV treatment and care to over 1000 HIV infected children and parent/guardians.
Nurture Africa provides free treatment to vulnerable children suffering with malaria and provides mosquitoe nets where necessary.
New HIV infections worldwide fell by 40%,
malaria by 37%
MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Ozone-depleting substances have been virtually eliminated since 1990, and the ozone layer is expected to recover by the middle of this century
91% of the global population is using an improved drinking water source. Nearly 6 in every ten people in the world enjoy piped water on their own premises
Worldwide, 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation
The proportion of urban population living in slums in the developing regions fell from approximately 39 in every 100 (2000) to 29 in every 1000 (2014)
MDG 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Official development assistance from developed countries increased by 66% in real terms between 2000 and 2014
In 2014, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom continued to exceed the United Nations official development assistance target of 0.7% of gross national income. Ireland has failed to meet its promised committment of 0.7%. Its ODA budget has fallen for 6 consecutive years and now stands at approximately 0.38%
In 2014, 79% of imports from developing to developed countries were admitted duty free, up from 65% in 2000
As of 2015, 95% of the world’s population is covered by a mobile-cellular signal and subscriptions have grown almost tenfold to over 7 billion in 2015
Internet penetration has grown from just over 6% of the world’s population in 2000 to 43% in 2015. As a result, 3.2 billion people are linked to a global network of content and applications.
The statistics above make for very positive reading indeed. However, despite the hugely encouraging figures, we must remember that there is a LOT more work to do.... Gender inequality persists. Climate change and environmental degradation undermine the progress achieved, and the worlds poorest people suffer the most as a result. In 2014, 60 million people (most since World War 2) were forced to abandon their homes due to war and conflict. 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and hunger.
The Sustainable Development Goals will take centre stage from the end of 2015 when the world will seek to finish that which was started with the Millennium Development Goals...achieving a world, not only free of extreme poverty, but a more equally prosperous one, for everybody.