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Millennium Development Goals

Our polices and approach to development are guided by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals,  eight internationally agreed goals and targets to reduce global poverty. 189 countries, including Ireland, have committed to achieving the MDGs by 2015.  As the target date approaches, Ireland is working to ensure that future development  goals   remain focused on the needs of poor people and poor communities.  

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty  Goal 1: Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Targets

Progress

In 1990, more than 2 billion people globally were living on less than $1.25 a day. By 2008, the number had fallen to under 1.4 billion. According to the 2012 Millennium Development Goal Report, it is expected that the goal of halving the number of people around the world who are living in extreme poverty will be reached ahead of the 2015 MDG target. While progress is being made in terms of reducing poverty, this is not translating into a significant reduction in hunger levels. The goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger is off track and greater international action will be required if it is to be achieved.

How we are contributing

Reducing poverty and hunger is the cornerstone of our aid programme and we work with national and international partners to support a range of programmes with a particular focus on  reducing hunger and increasing resilience.

Download the MDG1 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 1 and how Ireland is working to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education  Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education 

Target

Progress

Internationally, the number of children out of school fell from 106 million to 67 million between 1999 and 2009. Southern Asia and Northern Africa saw the biggest improvement, with increases of around 20% in the numbers of children enrolled in primary school, while sub-Saharan Africa showed an improvement of 7%. Tanzania and Zambia are both very near achieving the goal of universal primary education while Lesotho has already reached it.

How we are contributing

We see education as one of the most effective ways that people can lift themselves out of poverty, secure employment and contribute fully to their own growth and development as well as that of their community and country. So we support our partner countries to train teachers, build schools, ensure that girls have equal opportunities to get an education and that poor families can afford to send their children to school.

Download the MDG2 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 2 and how Ireland is working to achieve universal primary education.

 Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Target

Progress

In developing regions, the ratio of girls to boys enrolled in primary and secondary school was 96 girls for every 100 boys in 2009. This is a significant improvement since 1999, when the ratio was 91 girls for every 100 boys. In 2010, gains for women were registered in half of all parliamentary elections, with the most notable progress being seen in Northern Africa.

How we are contributing

Gender equality is a human right and we ensure that all our work pays particular attention to the needs and experience of women and girls, as well as men and boys. We work with our partner countries to improve girls’ access to education, develop maternal health services, address violence against women and ensure that women can take equal part in economic and political decision-making.

Download the MDG3 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 3 and how Ireland is working to achieve gender equality and empower women.

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Target

Progress

The number of deaths in children under five worldwide declined from 12.4 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010, which meant over 13,000 fewer children dying each day. Ten countries, including four in sub-Saharan Africa, saw a drop of more than 50% in child deaths between 1990 and 2009. Six countries also saw a reduction of more than 100 deaths per 1,000 live births. Of the six, five were in sub-Saharan Africa.

How we are contributing

Ensuring that children’s health needs are met is a major focus of our work. To do this, we support our partner countries to strengthen their health systems so that children have access to the essential services they need. We also support programmes that ensure children are better nourished and immunised  against disease.

Download the MDG 4 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 4 and how Ireland is working to reduce child mortality.

Goal 5: Improve maternal health Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Target

Progress

Globally, progress in improving maternal health  has been slow, with only 23 countries on track to meet the target of achieving a 75% reduction in maternal mortality. However, 90 countries showed declines of 40% or more in the number of women dying in childbirth between 1990 and 2008, while 57 others reported at least some progress. Between 1990 and 2009, the proportion of women receiving prenatal care increased substantially in all developing regions, from 64% to 81% in the number of pregnant women attending at least once during pregnancy. Lesotho has seen the proportion of women who deliver in health facilities increase from 52% in 2004 to almost 59% in 2009.

How we are contributing

We are committed to supporting the health needs of women in the developing world and we work with our development partners to ensure  better access to reproductive healthcare services, that the number of healthcare professionals is increased and that mothers and their infants are better nourished.

Download the MDG 5 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 5 and how Ireland is working to improve maternal health.

Goal 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases Goal 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Targets

Progress

AIDS-related deaths fell to 1.8 million in 2010, down from a peak of 2.2 million in 2005. The number of HIV-infected women receiving treatment rose from 45% in 2008, to 53% in 2009. The biggest reduction in deaths from malaria was in Africa where 11 countries have reduced malaria cases and deaths by over 50%. Thanks to an effective international strategy for diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, up to 6 million lives have been saved worldwide since 1995.

How we are contributing

We support our partner countries’ efforts to prevent the further transmission of HIV and other diseases and to lessen their impact on people’s lives. This includes improving access to health services, immunising children against disease, supporting the development of more effective treatments and educating people about health issues so they can make informed choices.

Download the MDG 6 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 6 and how Ireland is working to improve maternal health.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Targets

Progress

The target of halving the proportion of people in the world without access to safe drinking water has been reached. 89% of the world’s people now have access to safe drinking water. However, despite some improvement, 2.5 billion people in developing regions still lack access to basic sanitation facilities. It is unlikely, at this rate of progress, that the target for improved sanitation will be met by 2015.

How we contribute

We are committed to reducing poverty through environmentally sustainable development. So we work with our partner countries to increase people’s access to adequate water and safe sanitation by supporting rural and urban water and sanitation programmes and hygiene promotion schemes. We also promote the use of trees to limit soil erosion, improve water management, increase soil fertility and improve agriculture productivity.

Download the MDG 7 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 7 and how Ireland is working to improve environmental sustainability.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Targets

Progress

In 2011, global spending on aid amounted to $133.5 billion, representing 0.31% of developed countries’ combined national income. This was a 2.7% drop compared with 2010, when official development assistance reached a peak. In 2011, Ireland’s expenditure on official development assistance (ODA) represented 0.52% of Gross National Product (GNP).  We exceeded all but one of the twelve international targets for the effectiveness of aid and have been ranked among the best in the world in terms of the quality and effectiveness of our aid.

How we are contributing

We work with a range of international development partners to ensure that our aid is effective and transparent, that developing countries have the support and opportunities they need to grow their economies, and that the latest research and developments are used to improve policy.

Download the MDG 8 Factsheet to learn more about MDG 8 and how Ireland is working to develop global partnerships for development.

Report on the Millennium Development Goals

Find out about the latest progress on the Millennium Development Goals in the 2014 MDG Report

 

The statistics used here are based on the UN MDG Report 2011 and also on the more recent UN MDG Report 2012. Some additional statistics have also been taken from UNAIDS 2010 Global Report.