Despite many successes, the poorest are still left behind: UN

Menan Khater
4 Min Read

Following the United Nations release of the Millennium Development Goals agenda in July which set eight major goals to be achieved from 1990 to 2015 worldwide, a UN chronicle released on Tuesday new proposals for the eight goals post-2015 to 2030.

Heads of state will convene in the General Assembly of the United Nations to agree on those sets of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September.

The new targets, which were suggested by the Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), submitted to the Assembly in August 2014, contain 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.

The new development targets include ending poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030, and reduce at least half of the proportions of people living in poverty, according to national definitions. Extreme poverty is currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.

Other targets include ensuring access to affordable energy for all, promote sustained economic growth, and decent work for all; ensure availability of water and sanitation for all; achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; in addition, end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

“Under any international definition of extreme poverty based on the most recent national poverty lines of a number of countries, there will always be poor people,” said Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the centre of global development in the chronicle.

According to Kenny, steady development progress will not yield poverty reduction simply because the poverty line keeps improving too. Other factors trigger food security and poverty as mentioned in the previous MDGs report such as conflicts, political upheaval and, in some other countries, natural disasters.

Egypt has set national targets to achieve as a part of the major goals of the MDGs. In terms of poverty, Egypt had already achieved target one of eradicating extreme poverty on an income of less than $1.25 a day between 1990 and 2015, according to UNDP reports in Egypt. However, the local report suggests that the poverty level, based on the national line, is much higher and that progress during past years was mainly a result of high-level economic growth and adopting pro-poor policies.

Besides, Egypt failed to meet other goals from the MDGs in 2015 such as gender equality. Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector is very low and it is not expected to change significantly in 2015, UNDP report says. Moreover, the proportion of seats that was held by women in both houses of Parliament is still far below equality and the target of 50% is not expected in 2015.

The previous millennium  development goals targeted eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and women empowerment, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development.

Among the key facts of the MDGs results across the world were eradicating extreme poverty from one billion people worldwide.

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Politics and investigative reporter for Daily News Egypt. Initiator and lead instructor of DNE's special reporting project for university students 'What Lies Beyond.' Facebook:
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