The 2011 Millennium Development Goals Report was released on 7 July with a generally upbeat assessment accompanied by some caveats. Here are some statistics:
1. The poverty reduction goal can be met by 2015, with the number of people in developing countries living on less than US$1.25 a day expected to fall below 900 million (from 1.8 billion in 1990).
2. Sub-Saharan Africa has made the greatest strides in primary school enrolment, from 58 percent in 1999 to 76 percent in 2009; however, 32 million children are still out of school in the region, almost half the global total of 67 million.
3. The number of women in parliament is at a record high – 19.3 percent from 11.6 percent in 1995; Rwanda, Sweden, South Africa and Cuba topped the list. Belize, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu have no female parliamentarians at all.
4. In all regions, a mother’s education is key to determining whether her children will turn five, with a child’s chances of survival rising markedly with a mother’s secondary or higher education.
5. While the demand for family planning will likely increase, in line with rising numbers of women and men of reproductive age, funding for such programmes has actually declined over the past decade, to 2.6 percent of total aid for health in 2009.
6. The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets has surged, particularly in Africa: between 2008 and 2010, 290 million nets were distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, covering 76 percent of the 765 million people at risk.
7. Water resources are no longer sustainable in Western Asia and Northern Africa, which have exceeded the 75 percent limit on sustainable use. Southern Asia and the Caucasus and Central Asia are at rates of 58 and 56 percent respectively, compared with 3 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.
8. Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern and Southeastern Asia have met the target of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to potable water. Coverage in sub-Saharan Africa rose from 49 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2008.
9. By the end of 2010, global mobile phone coverage was 76 percent, with mobile penetration at about 68 percent in developing countries. However, internet penetration was as low as 3 percent in least developed countries, compared with 21 percent in developing countries and 72 percent in developed regions.
10. Donor aid is likely to increase, but at a much slower pace – 2 percent between 2011 and 2013, compared with an average 8 percent per year over the past three years. Aid to Africa is expected to rise by just 1 percent in real terms, against an average of 13 percent over the past three years.
Theme (s): Aid Policy, Children, Economy, Environment, Gender Issues,
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]