Extreme poverty could end in less than 20 years
A world where no child lives in extreme poverty or hunger could be a reality in less by 2030 if global leaders grasp a unique opportunity in the coming months.
Tuesday 8 January 2013
David Cameron, along with the Liberian and Indonesian presidents, is currently co-chairing a United Nations panel to create a new framework for global development after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.
To influence the debate we've today published Ending Poverty in Our Generation which outlines an ambitious vision we believe can banish worldwide extreme poverty within 20 years.
An end to poverty
It also includes the world’s first proposals for new targets to replace the Millennium Development Goals. The report lays out how by 2030 the world could:
- eradicate absolute poverty and hunger;
- end preventable child and maternal deaths;
- ensure universal access to safe drinking water;
- ensure all children receive quality education.
The UN High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda was set-up last year and is due to deliver its report to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in May.
Save the Children’s Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said: “An historic achievement is within reach. By committing to these ambitious but achievable new targets, we really can become the generation that ends extreme poverty forever.
“For the first time, it is feasible to imagine that in the next two decades no child will die from preventable causes, no child will go to bed hungry and every child will go to school.”
The Millennium Development Goals were eight international targets adopted by every UN member state in 2000 with commitments to tackling global problems such as extreme poverty, child deaths and a lack of free education.
Progress has been mixed, with some developing countries on track to achieve all targets and others looking unlikely to meet any.
Mr Forsyth continued: “The Millennium Development Goals have proven to be one of the most important agreements in political history.
"Through global cooperation we have lifted 600 million people out of poverty and helped 56 million more children to go to school.
Goal in sight
“But there were gaps in that framework that must be addressed and we call on the panel to seize this opportunity to commit to new targets that will secure a prosperous, sustainable future for the world's poorest children.”
The report says the end of extreme poverty is now in sight because of remarkable progress made in improving the lives of millions over the last two decades.
For example, the number of under-five deaths worldwide declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to under 7 million in 2011, and an additional 56 million children enrolled in primary school from 1999 to 2009.
The report warns of three major threats to the process:
- A failure to tackle inequality in the framework will mean progress will be too slow and some groups will be left behind.
- A desire to cram too much into the framework leading to a lowest common denominator outcome.
- A fragmented and already fractious political process at UN level
Download a copy of Ending Poverty in Our Generation