World Not On Track To Achieve Millennium Development Goals, U.N. Reports Says
The world will not meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goals -- which include reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2015 -- unless wealthy nations increase their international aid budgets, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday at the release of a U.N. report on the goals, Reuters AlertNet reports. "The lack of any significant increase in official development assistance since 2004 makes it impossible even for well-governed countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals," Ban said (MacInnis, Reuters AlertNet, 7/2).
Although some countries, such as China, have made progress during the past several years, advances in other parts of the world have not been made, according to the report. Sub-Saharan Africa has not kept pace with other regions, and it needs help with its fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, as well as improving access to basic medical care and education, the report said. It added that no country in sub-Saharan Africa is on track to meet the MDGs by 2015. The report said that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide has risen to 39.5 million since 2001, and annual deaths from the disease have risen by 700,000 to 2.9 million. Progress regarding TB control is not being made fast enough to halve global cases by 2015, especially in sub-Saharan Africa -- the only region where prevalence has increased during the past 10 years, according to the report. The report concluded that malaria control efforts will require more funding to make an impact in sub-Saharan Africa (AP/International Herald Tribune, 7/2).
Ban said it is still possible to reach the goals in the next seven years if wealthy countries immediately increase international aid and the Group of Eight industrialized nations follow through with its pledge to double aid to Africa by 2010, Reuters AlertNet reports (Reuters, 7/2). "The results presented in this report suggest that there have been some gains and that success is still possible in most parts of the world," Ban said, adding that the results also indicate "how much remains to be done" (Elliott, Guardian, 7/2).