In the past 15 years amazing progress has been achieved in transforming lives and fighting poverty. Photo by Jon Snyder, World Vision
I turned 10 years old in the year 2000. I remember hearing about the Millennium Development Goals and taking part in Make Poverty History events as I went through high school. I couldn’t have guessed that by 2015 I’d be working for World Vision Australia – or that the world would have come so far in fighting global poverty.
The last 15 years have been momentous – change has happened, action has been taken, lives have been saved. It’s been amazing to see how the world has committed to end poverty. The Millennium Development Goals gave the world a framework for success – eight goals set by world leaders in 2000, that if achieved, would halve global poverty. Althought not all eight MDG’s have been achieved, there is still a lot to celebrate – here are some highlights!
1. The world took action
The biggest and most successful global anti-poverty campaign in history has produced impressive results. The Millennium Development Goals provided targets and ambition for the world to pursue. People were inspired. The world took action. Change was achieved. Billions of dollars have been committed by governments, corporations and the public to fight poverty, improve health and alleviate hunger.
2. We responded in emergencies
At times of emergency, disaster, and crisis the world responds with solidarity, relief aid and hope. When the Boxing Day tsunami struck in 2004, World Vision Australia alone received $118 million in donations – money that was spent in emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation projects across five countries. We were able to build roads, bridges, 12,000 homes, 84 schools, 27 health clinics and provide training and employment opportunities to 40,000 people and implement disaster risk reduction programs to keep people safe during future disasters.
3. People stood up
Millions of people have taken action, marched and shared their voices to end global poverty. Make Poverty History in 2005 unified the world with impressive commitments, individual campaigns inspired people to take action, and a generation of advocates were born.
4. Children are healthier
Every day there are 17,000 fewer children dying of preventable causes compared to 1990. The number of under-five child deaths has been halved since 1990. Almost 100 million child lives have been saved since 1990 – including 24 million newborns!
5. Less malnutrition
The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, aiming to improve nutrition and end hunger, is now active in 54 countries. Governments are putting in place steps to improve access to good nutrition and tackle malnutrition. New campaigns like the Zero Hunger Challenge and One Goal are creating movements of people, sporting fans, NGOs, and corporations who are coming together to address the issues of hunger and malnutrition.
6. More clean water
More than 2 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water. Clean drinking water is essential to helping combat preventable child deaths since dirty water carries bacteria that gives children diarrhea and cholera.
7. People are earning a good income
700 million people have escaped the grip of absolute income poverty. This has given millions much needed livelihood support, and, in many cases access to healthcare, education, and other services.
8. Birth Registration improvements
From 2000-2010 global birth registration rose from 58% to 65%. Birth registration gives children an identity and access to healthcare and education. Without registration or identity, children are at risk of violence, abuse, and forced labour.
9. Lives saved from deadly disease
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has saved over 8.7 million lives. This has come through the provision of vital resources and coordinated effort from governments, charities, and corporations.
10. Technology makes work easier
Innovation has led the way in developing new ways to tackle old problems. mHealth has been a great addition in breaking down distance barriers for health using mobile phones to support public health practices in collective clinical and health data, deliver information, and provide care.
Now that the Millennium Development Goals have come to end, we need to look to the future and set new goals to achieve. World Vision is part of a global coalition of charities, governments, influencers and the public calling for a renewed commitment to end poverty – so that we can celebrate even more in 2030.