August 8th, 2013

New goals in sight to reduce poverty and hunger

Efforts to meet the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals have reduced poverty and hunger. A new set of goals to complete the work is about to be unveiled. John Maurice reports.
Poverty has stalked the world throughout the ages, bearing out the Bible’s ominous pronouncement that “there will always be poor people in the land”. And, for sure, where there is poverty, hunger can’t be far behind. Up to recently, nothing much had happened to loosen the grip of poverty and hunger on a large proportion of the world’s population. A change, though, began in the middle of the past century, when UN agencies and civil society organisations started, for the first time, to set global development goals. Progress, however, was slow or absent in many parts of the developing world until, in 2000, leaders from 189 countries and the heads of 23 international organisations signed up to a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be met by 2015. The first MDG called for a halving of the proportion of people in the world living under the international poverty line of US$1 a day (later changed to $1·25) and for halving the proportion of people experiencing chronic hunger. Most of these people live in low-income countries.
Complete story in The Lancet.



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