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Economic

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISISBack
[Published: Tuesday July 07 2009]

GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS
 
UN report shows MDGs undermined by economic and food crises
 
New York, 07 July 2009 – (ANA) - A new United Nations report shows that
recent advances in fighting poverty and hunger are being threatened by
the global economic and food crises.
The report, launched in
Geneva
by the UN secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon,
warns that, despite many successes, overall progress has been too slow
for most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the globally
agreed targets to halve poverty, hunger and a host of other social and
economic ills – to be achieved by the target date of 2015.
 
The new publication is considered the most comprehensive global MDGs
assessment to date and is based on data from over 20 organisations. It
finds, among other things, that the number of people living on less
than $1.25 a day decreased from 1.8 billion to 1.4 billion in the
period from 1990 to 2005.It states, however, that major gains in the
fight against extreme poverty are likely to stall, although data are
not yet available to reveal the full impact of the recent economic
downturn. In 2009, an estimated 55 million to 90 million more people
will be living in extreme poverty than anticipated before the crisis.
 
The Secretary General noted that the nearly to decade trend in reducing
hunger is due to the increase in food prices in 2008. In addition, tens
of millions of people have been pushed
into joblessness and greater
vulnerability; and some countries stand to miss their poverty reduction
goals, slowing the momentum to reduce overall poverty in the developing
world. Moreover, 1.4 billion people must gain access to improved
sanitation by 2015 in order to achieve the sanitation target and the
target for eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary
education by 2005 has already been missed. The global financial and
economic crisis has had a severe impact on demand, and it is now widely
predicted that global trade will decline by 10 per cent this year, he
added. “Unless the direction of the crisis is reversed soon, it will
further unravel the progress that developing countries have made over
the past two decades in reducing poverty.”
 
“We have been moving too slowly to meet our goals,” said Mr. Ban to the
high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council. He added that
“This year’s Millennium Development Goals Report delivers a message
that should not surprise us but which we must take to heart: the
current economic environment makes achieving the goals even more
difficult,” “yet the report also shows that when we have the right
policies, backed by adequate funding and strong political commitment,
actions can yield impressive results.”
 
The report does however show some progress, as two major killers of
children, malaria and measles, have had man
y countries implementing
proven strategies to combat them. Also, Aids is killing less people.
 
“We are edging closer to universal primary education. We are well on
our way to meeting the safe drinking water target,” added the Secretary
General. “We can and must build on these foundations. In
Africa
and
across the developing world, we have abundant evidence that aid can
help transform lives. But delays in delivering aid, combined with the
financial crisis and climate change, are slowing progress,” he stated.
 
Mr. Ban called on rich and poor nations to boost efforts to meet the
targets. Mr. Ban recalled that the Group of Eight (G8) and Group of 20
(G20) nations have made specific commitments to increase financial and
technical support to developing countries by 2010 to achieve the MDGs.
“Those commitments include raising annual aid flows to
Africa
, yet aid
remains at least $20 billion below the Gleneagles targets,” he noted.
“I urge the G8 to set out, country by country, how donors will scale up
aid to
Africa
over the next year.” He also urged donor countries to
meet existing pledges on aid for trade, a crucial component in
improving trade competitiveness of developing country producers and
exporters.
 
Speaking at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Second Global Review
on Aid for Trade, also in
Geneva
, he noted that the aid for trade
initiative has made good prog
ress in the three years since its launch.
The April G20 Summit pledge of $250 billion for trade financing could
lead to a significant increase in the $25 billion that aid for trade
received in 2007. (ANA)
 
SL/ANA/07 July 2009 ---


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