MDG Report 2014 released

Jul 7, 2014

Empowering women in Burundi. | Photo: IFAD/Sarah Morgan

The 2014 Millennium Development Goals Report examines the latest progress towards achieving the MDGs, it reaffirms that the MDGs have made a profound difference in people’s lives; global poverty has been halved five years ahead of the 2015 timeframe, according to a new report launched today, by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Fourteen years ago, the Millennium Declaration articulated a bold vision and established concrete targets for improving the existence of many and for saving the lives of those threatened by disease and hunger. There has been important progress across all goals, with some targets already having been met well ahead of the 2015 deadline. Based on comprehensive official statistics, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 shows that the combined actions of the UN-EU partnership, national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are making the achievement of the MDGs a reality.

“Ninety per cent of children in developing regions now enjoy primary education, and disparities between boys and girls in enrolment have narrowed. Remarkable gains have also been made in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis, along with improvements in all health indicators. The likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half over the last two decades. That means that about 17,000 children are saved every day. We also met the target of halving the proportion of people who lack access to improved sources of water.” Mr. Ban said.

According to the Millennium Development Goals Report 2014, several MDG targets have changed our world:

Bangladesh povertyBangladesh: UNDP's Rural Employment Opportunities for Public Assets (REOPA) project acts as a ladder on which marginalized women become more empowered and integrated in their communities, stepping into gainful employment and out of poverty. Photo: UNDP / Gazi Nafis Ahmed

Extreme poverty has been reduced by half                                              In 1990, close to half of the people in developing regions lived on less than $1.25 a day. This rate dropped to 22 per cent by 2010. This means that the world reached the MDG target—of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty—five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. Meantime, the absolute number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 1.2 billion in 2010.

Mother feeding her childrenChad: Mother with her children at a health centre in Abeche. At the centre, children are screened and fed plumpy nut if necessary. Photo: UNICEF/Jordi Matas

Child mortality has been almost halved, but more progress is needed                               Worldwide, the mortality rate for children under age five dropped almost 50 per cent, from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 in 2012. Preventable diseases are the main causes of under-five deaths.The estimated number of under-five deaths fell from about 12.6 million to 6.6 million over the same period: about 17,000 fewer children died each day in 2012 than in 1990.

Jordan - midwifeJordan – A midwife working at a UN-EU supported clinic in the Zaatari refugee camp. Photo: UNFPA/Ra'd Addayleh

Efforts in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis have shown results Between 2000 and 2012, an estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted due to the substantial expansion of malaria interventions. About 90 per cent of those averted deaths - 3 million - were children under the age of five living in sub-Saharan Africa. The intensive efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved an estimated 22million lives worldwide since 1995.

Afghanistan womanAfghanistan: A female community group is brainstorming and preparing to become actively involved in decision making processes. Photo: UN-Habitat/Afghanistan

The political participation of women has continued to increase                In January 2014, 46 countries have more than 30 per cent female members of parliament in at least one chamber. More women are now holding some of the so-called "hard" ministerial portfolios - such as Defence, Foreign Affairs and the Environment. The year 2013 also witnessed a growing awareness of the importance of ending political violence against women. 

Pakistan waterPakistan: Farmers are happy on the installation of tube wells with the support of UNDP. They can now easily irrigate their lands. Photo: Biosaline Hafizabad. Satomi Kato/UNDP Pakistan

Access to an improved drinking water source became a reality for 2.3 billion people                         The target of halving the proportion of people without access to an improved drinking water source was achieved in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. In 2012, 89 per cent of the world's population had access to an improved source, up from 76 per cent in 1990. Over 2.3 billion people gained access to an improved source of drinking water between 1990 and 2012.

Myanmar schoolMyanmar: First-grade students attending class at a primary school in southern Yangon. The school has received a UN “school-in-a-box” kit, with teaching and learning materials for eighty students as well as a recreation kit containing sports equipment and games. Photo: UNICEF/Win Naing

90 per cent of children in developing regions are attending primary school                                  The school enrolment rate in primary education in developing regions increased from 83 per cent to 90 per cent between 2000 and 2012. Most of the gains were achieved by 2007, after which progress stagnated. Over the past two decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in youth and adult literacy rates and a simultaneous decrease in the gap between male and female literacy rates. 

The MDGs brought together governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector to achieve concrete goals for development and poverty eradication. Much has been accomplished through the concerted and focused efforts of all, saving and improving the lives of many people, but the agenda remains unfinished. The analysis presented in this report points to the importance of intensifying efforts to meet all MDG targets.