Development Goals, an introduction

For many industrialized nations, poverty, child mortality, poor maternal health, and rampant disease are typically issues of the past. Science, medicine, research and technology have allowed many countries to eradicate numerous serious issues that plague third world nations and developing countries. And while many people believe the human plight has improved, the sad reality is millions of people around the globe live in such absolute misery that when everyday people are faced with the statistics, they are completely shocked and dismayed.

In order to ameliorate this ever-growing global crisis, in September 2000, heads-of-state from all over the world agreed to take positive steps to commit to a plan of action that would significantly reduce the suffering. The combined plan resulted in what is referred to as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to the IRC (International Water and Sanitation Centre), “the MDGs stand for a renewed commitment to overcome persistent poverty and address many of the most enduring failures of human development. Halving by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”.

Safe drinking water is important on so many levels. Without water, people cannot survive. And if they have water but it is contaminated, disease and ultimately death are the results. Likewise, if their animals are drinking unsafe water, the food supply is tainted or the animals die before the people can eat them. Then the people die of hunger. Furthermore, child mortality is high because the bodies of babies and young children do not have the opportunity to adequately develop. Thus, safe water alone solves many issues.

Consequently, the Millennium Development Goals include eight broad goals, each with specific targets for improving the level of misery and suffering experienced everyday by millions. The eight goals are named as follows:

  1. Poverty and Hunger
  2. Education
  3. Gender Equality
  4. Child Mortality
  5. Maternal Health
  6. Combat Disease
  7. Environment
  8. Global Partnership

As one can clearly see “poverty and hunger” is the number one issue, as the World Bank states that, “that one-point-four (1.4) billion people in developing countries were living in extreme poverty in 2005... using a new threshold for extreme poverty now set at (one dollar and twenty-five cents) $1.25 a day”. Here is where another fallacy occurs in the minds of everyday people. It is thought that others make small amounts of money due to their country's economic conditions, thus allowing them to live comfortably or at least adequately. On the contrary, while some of those countries have a low cost of living, most do not and so its people are forced to rely on very little, creating widespread poverty and hunger.

In conclusion, the targets set forth by the Millennium Development Goals should guide all industrialized and financially able nations to combat issues of great importance to the world. Loads of world leaders like President Obama, President Clinton, UAE Ambassador Al Otaiba, Herman van Rompuy and Angela Merckel have made positive comments on them, we hope the importance of the task at hand helps these leaders make their mark.

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