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The Millennium Development Goals are the world’s timely-destined and quantified goals for addressing an extreme deficiency in its many aspects, such as poverty, hunger, income, disease, inadequate shelter, and exclusion while encouraging equality in education, gender, and environmental sustainability. They also establish basic human rights, such as the rights of individuals to health, shelter, security, and education, as declared in the UN Millennium Declaration and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How would the world react in 2015 to the achievement of these goals? More than 600 million people will receive relief from extreme poverty. More than 400 million people will no longer suffer from hunger starvation. There will also be significant progress in child and maternal health. Rather than die before attaining their fifth birthdays, it would be possible to save the lives of 35 million children across the world. So will the lives of more than 2.5 million mothers.  There is much more to achieve through these goals for enhancing and saving human lives. Accomplishing the Goals will provide safe drinking water for more than 350 million people, and the advantages of sanitation for 700 million, enabling them to lead healthier and more respectable lives. The accomplishment of the goals will enable millions of girls and women to lead their lives with more security, freedom, and opportunities. Behind these goals, there is a large number of lives, and hopes of people are banking to end the burden of grinding poverty.

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This paper attempts to study a practical plan for the attainment of these goals based on the extensive work carried by 250 of the leading task force over the past three years, in the context of the UN Millennium Goals Project. This paper also examines the technologies implemented so far in achieving of the goals, and the way the degree of application has been helpful so far to accomplish the goals in the context of suffering countries.

The followings are the Eight Millennium Development Goals of the UN Millennium Project:

  1. Eradicate poverty and hunger;
  2. Achieve universal primary education;
  3. Encourage gender equality and empowerment of women;
  4. Decrease child mortality;
  5. Upgrade maternal and child health;
  6. Fight with HIV/AIDS, eradicate Malaria and several diseases;
  7. Assure environmental sustainability;
  8. Develop a goal for partnership development.
  9. Identify and select two MDGs

Poverty and Hunger

While the MDGs aim to eliminate all forms of poverty, Goal number 1 emphasizes and focuses on reducing the income poverty: Goal 1: Eliminate extreme hunger and poverty; Target 1: Split in two, between 1990 and 2015, the fraction of people, whose income counts less than one dollar a day. Millennium Development Goals relating to country case studies emphasize on interventions, which establish the conditions for the long-term decrease in income poverty and sustained economic growth, instead of interventions that might decrease income poverty directly. For instance, Millennium Task Force presents detailed intervention models of health, poverty, and control of diseases, both of which render a powerful influence on productivity and peoples’ capacity to create incomes. Similarly, the interventions across all other goals are crucial to achieving the income poverty goal. Besides, this goal accomplishes a few specified sets of interventions, such as an approach to core transport infrastructure and energy service that are critical inputs for attaining the income poverty target.

The evaluation of interventions required to fight hunger relies on the following MDGs and Targets:

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty.

Target 2: Split between 1990 and 2015 for the fraction of people, who continue to suffer from hunger. Based on the suggestions of the Millennium Hunger Task Force, the three key sets of actions to combat with hunger are under consideration for: (a) promoting nutrition, (b) increasing agricultural productivity, and (c) supporting other means of rural income generation. Assuming that this key charter of actions may not approach specified targets, Millennium Project Task Force implements the following targets, each based on the Millennium Goal Target, and consider 1990 levels as the beginning point:

  1. To increase agricultural productivity: Achievement of food security for half of the food-insecure rural people and households by 2015;
  2. To support income generation of rural people: Provide half of the food-insecure families with storage facilities, credit, value-added food processing facilities, and organizations (for example cooperative societies) by 2015;
  3. Promoting nutrition: Offer targeted interventions to half of the total of malnourished women and children by 2015.

To reduce child mortality and improve maternal health

The MDGs 4 and 5 relate to child health and maternal health, including the reduction targets of two-thirds in less than five years in mortality rates, and three-quarters reduction in the ratio of maternal mortality by 2015. Although maternal health and child health present all together different challenges and pull in different directions, yet, they have an inextricable interconnection. The Millennium Task Force decided from the launch that it would consider them as one task and bridge linkages between the two fields (Dholakia, Kumar, Datta, 2004).

History of the socioeconomic, health, and environmental issues that led to the development of the MDGs

The development of Millennium Development Goals was done especially for those priority countries, which consistently struggle with the greatest hurdles in eradicating poverty, hunger, and poor socioeconomic conditions with the lowest human development that have made the least progress in the last decade. For these nations, domestic policy reforms and far more development assistance are crucial. In the 1980s and the 1990s, there were considerable development efforts by prime donor countries and international financial institutions guided by the conviction that globalization would lift all poor nations onto a path of self-sustaining economic development, but their assumptions did not meet expectations. Globalization had become the perfect new vehicle of worldwide economic growth. Donor countries assumed that poor nations would be able to accomplish economic growth, so long as they tackled good economic governance, based on the principles of macroeconomic stability, privatization of economic activity, and liberalization of markets.

There was an expectation that economic progress, in turn, would bring considerable improvements in nutrition, education, health, housing, and availability of basic infrastructure, such as sanitation and water; thereby, enabling poor countries to rise from poverty and hunger. Though this optimistic vision to a large extent has proven hugely insufficient for millions of poor people, it still possesses considerable worthiness for much of the world. Despite several protests against internationalization in the past years, global market forces continue to contribute towards economic progress and poverty reduction in India, China, and dozens of the developing nations. Millions of people enjoy high living standards and long lives as a result of world market forces and nation’s internal policies that help to dilute those forces.

Since globalization has benefited some of the world’s developing economies, it has surpassed others, as well as several groups within countries. In the 1990s, most of South and East Asia noticed that living standards have considerably improved, but many parts of Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and several countries in Middle East and Latin America continued deprivation of these economic benefits. Besides, epidemic diseases, most drastically HIV/AIDS, victimized disproportionately on those left behind and had pushed them further back; thus, trapping poor countries in a vicious cycle of hunger, poverty, and diseases. Even rapidly growing economies, such as India, China, Brazil and Mexico, contain many regions of extreme poverty relieved little by the impact of overall economic growth. Social and economic progress also often surpass racial and ethnic minorities or even majorities, as well as women and girls, who continue to suffer gender difference in access to education, employment opportunities, public services, and private property.

Hence, despite the higher living standards that internationalization backed by powerful economic governance, has presented in various parts of the world, millions of people continue to experience economic setbacks rather than advances. This led to more than 1 billion struggle for daily survival from the scourges of poor health and hunger. There are various reasons, such as poor economic growth overlooked by many of the world’s poorest nations, leading to the development of Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations. One prime reason is poor governance. When nations’ governments are incompetent, corrupt, or unaccountable to their people, national economies falter. When inequality in income is extremely high, rich community often dictates the political system and neglects poor people, preventing broadly based development. Moreover, if governments fail to invest sufficiently in the education and health of their citizens, economic progress will subsequently peter out because of an inadequate number of healthy and skilled citizens. Without efficient governance in terms of human rights, economic policies, and democratic political participation no nation with low human development can achieve long-term success in its growth efforts or extended support from the donor countries.

Moreover, commodity dependence, geographic barriers, and demographic pressures are often combined by a heavy burden of serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS or high child mortality and maternal health further increase the poverty and reverse the economic growth of the poor countries. Developed economies may focus on the strong governance when deciding to aid allocations, but far too often they are negligent to other challenges facing many of the poorest nations, such as Mali, Ghana, and Zambia.

Analyze and discuss the progress of a developed and developing country towards the MDGs chosen for research

Bangladesh suffers from the extremely high levels of hunger and poverty with more than 50 percent of the population continuing to live their lives below the line of national poverty in 2004. During the 1990s, the wide spread of the extreme income poverty noticed a reduction of 1.9 percent per year; that is a rate, which is inadequate for dividing poverty by 2015. Further, Bangladesh continues to suffer extremely high levels of malnutrition. The accomplishment of hunger and poverty Goal will not be possible, unless the significant efforts in dramatic growth for reducing the incidence of underweight children are achieved. In the education sector, there has been a significant increase in primary school enrollment during the 1990s; thus, it would ensure attaining the education Goal if maintained until 2015. Level of literacy among adolescents in the 15-25 age groups also shows satisfactory growth, but fails to keep up a pace in primary school enrollment, showing that primary school completion rates require to be accelerated further. Bangladesh has also made significant development towards improving equality in gender, in primary education, and continues on track for meeting the MDGs. A key progress observed in improving health outcomes has led to reduction of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria cases by 4.5%, if compared to 2010 level. Quite noticeably, there is a significant reduction in the maternal mortality rates; however, child and infant mortality rates continue to remain high and are unlikely to attain the MDG Targets in 2015, unless progress in this sector accelerates. Bangladesh has high access to safe drinking water in both urban and rural areas. As a result, the country has already achieved the water Millennium Goal. However, access to the improved sanitation and hygienic conditions, while showed an increase during the 1990s, remains at the low level. Urgent investments in this sector need attention.


Attaining the goal of reducing poverty by half still demands a significant acceleration of poverty income reduction from the average annual rate of 1.7 percent observed during the past decade. For accomplishing the target, Bangladesh still requires to attain a GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent yearly over the next 15 years.

The above data demonstrates that development in reducing rural poverty line has been the highest. The IPRSP observes that whereas agricultural growth continues to perform a powerful role in the rural poverty reduction, its quantitative influence on poverty reduction will remain uncertain on expanding to the fishery sector, high-value added crops, as well as animal husbandry. The same conditions apply to the growth prospects for the non-farming economy in the rural income poverty reduction, where the prime challenge is to equip the poor farmers with facility of high added value of the non-farm activities through better transport facilities. According to the data collected by HIES, the entire reduction in the urban poverty occurred during the beginning of nineties, while the second half of nineties observed deterioration in the urban poverty line. This expansion in the urban poverty line during the second half of the decade caused by the negative growth in per capita consumption was the prime reason.

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Bangladesh demonstrates one of the highest rates of malnourishment in the world; according to UNICEF survey in the year 1998, 55 percent of children younger than 5 years old, and 55 percent of the females continue being undernourished. Large proportions of the population live in absolute poverty and continue to suffer from poverty and hunger. While there has been significant progress in decreasing the number of people, whose consumption is less than 1805 kcal per day, the number of poor has not come down during the end of the 1990s. Many continue to suffer from chronic hunger and are in dire need of anti-hunger interventions. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has exhibited significant growth in the sector of food production in the last few years. However, pressures from increasing population and growing demand for food create the key challenges because of the limited cultivable land available in the country.

The costs of achieving the Millennium Development Goals

The total amount of national government spending to attain the Millennium Development Goals is calculated to be approximately 2000 dollars based on the GDP projections. A substantial section of the Sachs Report deals with the costs of achieving of the Millennium Goals. The cost calculation of these goals is on the basis of capital requirements at the level of a country. The Millennium Project team designed comprehensive methodology for capital needs assessment that underwent crucial test in the five countries: Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania. As a first step, it determined the total investment capital required to accomplish the goals in each country. Extracting from this, it evaluated how much a country can raise, and how much of the external grant in the form of ODA it needed. After an assessment of these figures from the five countries, the Sachs team then calculated how much ODA would be essential to finance Millennium Development Goals on an international level. The conclusion arrived was that ODA must increase to 145 billion US dollars in 2006. This implies that doubling previous ODA investments is needed. By 2015, the volume of official development assistance would have to threefold to make 199 billion US dollars. This implies that official development assistance must expand from currently 0.26 per cent of the GNI of donor nations to 0.45 per cent in 2006, and 0.55 percent, in 2015. In the wake of publicly declared governmental contribution, the Sachs Report calculated a deficit of 46 billion US dollars for 2006. The US accounts for the bulk of this deficit in funding, as it owes 34.2 billion, followed by Japan with 10.6 billion, and Germany with 3.2 billion US dollars. According to the Sachs, Germany and Japan owe significant responsibility in light of the current discussions on the reform of the United Nations. Analyzing the current fiscal limitations of the donor countries, the Sachs Report considers it unrealistic, because of the fact that desired increase in official development assistance may not be likely funded solely from the national budgets. It is for this reason that the Sachs report proposes all donor countries to promote the British recommendations for the International Finance Facility.

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