Checking in on the MDGs: how have we scored so far?

Corn fingers

Established in 2000 by the UN, the eight Millennium Development Goals provide a priority blueprint for ending poverty and meeting the needs of the world’s poorest- and they will hit their deadline in a little over a year’s time. The two questions which are on the minds of many policy leaders and international development institutions: how have we done in the past 14 years, and crucially, what comes next? Tomorrow evening the World Bank will launch its Global Monitoring Report 2014 which takes a look at progress so far in achieving results from development policies, including the Millennium Development Goals (go to the World Bank website to follow the event or #endpoverty on twitter). In terms of global food security, Millennium Development Goal 1 aims to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015, a goal shared by CABI and its work empowering farmers to lose less and feed more through the Plantwise initiative. Prior to this year’s report, it was already announced that there has been substantial progress towards reaching MDG 1, with malnourishment now afflicting an estimated 805 million people- something that could not be reported in 2006 when the spread of global hunger was still on the rise. Though this means 1 in every 8 people remains without sufficient supply of nutritious food to eat, this is also a sign that keeping food security at the top of the international development agenda is making a critical difference. “Political commitment of governments is increasingly being translated into comprehensive and effective action, with strengthened engagement of non-state actors,” commented José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General. “These efforts are bringing the goal of achieving food security in our lifetime closer to reality.”

The Global Monitoring Report will outline MDG progress, analyzing efforts to reduce poverty, improve schooling, reduce maternal and child mortality, and ensure safe water and sanitation. The WB-IMF report also introduces the Twin Goals of ending poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Next week on October 13th in London, the Global Hunger Index 2014 will also be launched to weigh in on progress and room for improvement towards reaching global food security.

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