Sub-Saharan African Countries Not on Track To Meet MDGs, U.N. Secretary General Ban Says
Sub-Saharan African countries likely will not meet the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals -- which include reducing the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- by 2015, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday at the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development in Accra, Ghana, AFP/Google.com reports.
"Not a single country is on track to meet all the MDGs by 2015," Ban said, adding that many "countries are falling behind" and that sub-Saharan Africa is the "most at risk" region worldwide. In addition, increasing food prices worldwide are hindering efforts to meet the MDGs and "threaten to undo the gains achieved so far," Ban said (AFP/Google.com, 4/21).
Ban said that some African countries have made progress toward meeting some MDG targets. Senegal "is making great strides" in providing clean water, while Niger, Togo and Zambia "have made impressive progress in malaria control through the free distribution" of insecticide-treated nets, he said. "These success stories need to be replicated and scaled up across Africa with effective support from the international community," Ban said (AP/Google.com, 4/21).
Ban called on African states that are benefiting from increased commodity prices to increase development spending and assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He also called on international donors to follow through with foreign aid spending commitments. The conference opened in Accra on Sunday and is scheduled to end on Friday (AFP/Google.com, 4/21). Ban traveled to Liberia on Monday and is expected to visit Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire this week as part of his African tour, the AP/Google.com reports (AP/Google.com, 4/21).