World Mostly on Track With MDGs, World Bank Report Shows

Eric Swanson, program manager of the World Bank's Global Monitoring Cluster, talks during the launch of the World Development Indicators 2010 report. Photo by: World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 World BankCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Several developing regions around the world have made considerable progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals launched by the United Nations 10 years ago, the World Bank said in the latest edition of its World Development Indicators report.  

Most of these regions are on track to cut poverty by half despite the recent global financial and economic crisis, the report said. Asia, in particular, is making remarkable progress, but Africa is still off-track the poverty goal.

Progress on the MDGs, however, is uneven when measured at the country levels. The report said only 49 of 87 countries that the World Bank has data on will likely meet the U.N.’s poverty target.

The highlights of the 2010 WDI report include:

- Thirty nine of the 87 countries surveyed are on track to meet the U.N.-set goal on child mortality by the 2015 deadline. Child mortality rate in developing countries fell from 101 per 1,000 children in 1990 to 73 per 1,000 in 2008. 

- Maternal deaths substantially decreased globally. Also, the percentage of women who sought medical assistance after giving birth went up from 64 percent in 1990 to 79 percent in 2008. However, the proportion of women who made the recommended four or more antenatal visits is still below 50 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

- New cases of HIV infections have been reduced by 17 percent since 2000. However, 33.4 million people are still living with HIV/AIDS. Two-thirds of these live in sub-Saharan Africa, and most are women.

- The target of reducing the 1990 prevalence rate of tuberculosis by half is unlikely to be achieved by 2015. There were 13.7 million cases of tuberculosis around the world in 2007, only slightly fewer from the reported cases in 2006.

- Approximately 1 million malaria-related deaths were recorded in 2006, 90 percent of these occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and most were among children under the age of 5.

- Some 65 developing countries are likely to meet the U.N. target of reducing by half the number of people without access to clean water.

- Little progress has been made since 1990 on the U.N. goal for access to sanitation as more than 1.5 billion around the world still lack quality latrines and other sanitation facilities.

- Aid from members of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development increased from USD69 billion total in 2000 to USD122 billion in 2008. The countries, however, will not be able fulfill the aid commitments they made five years ago.

- Girls have gained more access to educational opportunities, but there are still wide gender gaps in low-income countries, particularly at the secondary and primary levels.

- The MDG for primary education is nearly met.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.