Millennium Development Goals Report 2012

Access to treatment for people living with HIV increased in all regions: At the end of 2010, 6.5 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV or AIDS in developing regions. This total constitutes an increase of over 1.4 million people from December 2009, and the largest one-year increase ever. The 2010 target of universal access, however, was not reached.

The world is on track to achieve the target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of tuberculosis: Globally, tuberculosis incidence rates have been falling since 2002, and current projections suggest that the 1990 death rate from the disease will be halved by 2015.

Global malaria deaths have declined: The estimated incidence of malaria has decreased globally, by 17 per cent since 2000. Over the same period, malaria-specific mortality rates have decreased by 25 per cent. Reported malaria cases fell by more than 50 per cent between 2000 and 2010 in 43 of the 99 countries with ongoing malaria transmission.

Achievements were unequally distributed across and within regions and countries. Moreover, progress has slowed for some MDGs after the multiple crises of 2008-2009.

Vulnerable employment has decreased only marginally over twenty years: Vulnerable employment — defined as the share of unpaid family workers and own-account workers in total employment—accounted for an estimated 58 per cent of all employment in developing regions in 2011, down only moderately from 67 per cent two decades earlier. Women and youth are more likely to find themselves in such insecure and poorly remunerated positions than the rest of the employed population.

Decreases in maternal mortality are far from the 2015 target: There have been important improvements in maternal health and reduction in maternal deaths, but progress is still slow.

Reductions in adolescent childbearing and expansion of contraceptive use have continued, but at a slower pace since 2000 than over the decade before.

Use of improved sources of water remains lower in rural areas: While 19 per cent of the rural population used unimproved sources of water in 2010, the rate in urban areas was only 4 per cent. And since dimensions of safety, reliability and sustainability are not reflected in the proxy indicator used to track progress towards the MDG target, it is likely that these figures overestimate the actual number of people using safe water supplies.

Worse, nearly half of the population in developing regions—2.5 billion—still lacks access to improved sanitation facilities. By 2015, the world will have reached only 67 per cent coverage, well short of the 75 per cent needed to achieve the MDG target.

Hunger remains a global challenge: The most recent FAO estimates of undernourishment set the mark at 850 million living in hunger in the world in the 2006/2008 period—15.5 per cent of the world population. This continuing high level reflects the lack of progress on hunger in several regions, even as income poverty has decreased. Progress has also been slow in reducing child undernutrition. Close to one third of children in Southern Asia were underweight in 2010.

The number of people living in slums continues to grow: Despite a reduction in the share of urban populations living in slums, the absolute number has continued to grow from a 1990 baseline of 650 million. An estimated 863 million people now live in slum conditions.

The 2015 deadline is fast approaching. The contributions of national Governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector will need to intensify as the world takes on the longstanding and long-term challenge of inequality, and press forward on food security, gender equality, maternal health, rural development, infrastructure and environmental sustainability, and responses to climate change.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are key: Gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government. Violence against women continues to undermine efforts to reach all goals.

Further progress to 2015 and beyond will largely depend on success on these interrelated challenges.

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