Economic Growth and Poverty in the Third World. UN Millennium Development Goals Reveal Mixed Results By Abayomi Azikiwe

Declining oil and commodity prices impact states in Africa and the Middle East

2015 is the year that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were scheduled to reach certain objectives in the reduction of poverty and the improvement of living standards in so-called developing countries.

In 2000 the United Nations drafted a program to achieve income increases, universal education, gender equality and other forms of material advancements. By this year there was supposed to be substantial gains which could be easily measurable through healthier, liberated and happier people throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America.

In an article published by the London-based Guardian it notes that β€œThe millennium development goals have targeted eight key areas – poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, disease, the environment and global partnership. Each goal is supported by 21 specific targets and more than 60 indicators.” (July 6)

Statistics indicate that there have been improvements in raising household incomes and reducing rates of illiteracy and child mortality. In addition, school attendance for girls and women have increased in various regions of Africa and Asia making a profound impact on illiteracy and abject poverty.

With respect to incomes, it was said that in 1990 nearly two billion people lived on less than $1.25 United States dollars per day. Today the number of people attempting to survive on such an income has decreased by more than half says the UN figures yet any analysis of these statistics must take into account the rising cost of living in various developing states amid increased access to telecommunications, light industrial and mining employment.

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