12 Ways You Can Help End Extreme Poverty Every Day

One billion of the world’s people live on $1.25 per day. That’s why the United Nations has made ending extreme poverty by 2030 one of its central goals.

Collectively, these 17 goals are known as the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs). They follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were established in 2000 and will end on December 31, 2015.

The MDGs fell short in three major areas, the U.N. reported: women’s and girls’ equality, environmental issues, and poverty eradication.

Inequality has transformed surviving childhood into a global postcode lottery | Flavia Bustreo
Children’s lives are shaped by social and economic factors that often differ wildly between and within countries – a grim reality that only a skilled, readily available health workforce with firm political backing can alter

“I am 19 years old and I have two children. My education was stopped due to my marriage at a young age. But now I have started studying again, because I want to be educated and I need to be,“ says Manahil from Pakistan.

Manahil’s voice is part of a chorus of more than 500 girls, ages 10 to 19, who have shared their challenges and dreams with the Girl Declaration, a campaign started last year by the Nike Foundation. Activists say the world’s girls are not represented in the current Millennium Development Goals, which focus on education and poverty, by failing to address child marriage, genital mutilation and adolescent pregnancy.

The United Nations plans to replace the current goals with a new agenda for 2015, and activists are pushing for world leaders and policy makers to turn their attention to girls.

Read more via NPR.


Today, the United Nations Secretary-General marks 1,000 days until the target date for the Millennium Development Goals. UNICEF is seizing the opportunity to launch a digital journey through its dream for children.

The story of global development – of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Millennium Declaration – is not an easy one to tell.

Impressive gains have already been made: Over two billion people more gained access to clean and safe drinking water between 1990 and 2010; in many countries, many more children are now attending school and many more women are able to give birth safely.

What UNICEF and our partners have been striving for:

■That those children most in need are well-nourished and cared for.
■That more children go to school.
■That boys and girls look forward to equally bright futures.
■That more mothers are in good health.
■That more babies live to their fifth birthday – and beyond.
■That sick children get the care they need, and healthy children stay healthy.
■That more children have safe, happy childhoods, and adults know that it is a child’s right to have one.
■That more children drink clean and safe water.

Now, to mark the 1,000 day milestone, UNICEF is unveiling another element of that voice through a dedicated microsite: Launched today, UNICEF is inviting the public to use the site to follow the story of the development agenda that was set in 2000, and the impact it has had on children.

The  microsite showcases the inspiring advances made for children through the joint efforts of UNICEF and its partners and draws attention to what still needs to be done to improve the life of the hardest-to-reach child – the ‘last child’.

What kind of dreamer are you?..visit our Last Child Microsite and decide for yourself.


Millennium Development Goals: Celebrating successes and innovations

(Video via ukdfid)

Children are the makers and the markers of sustainable societies
Author: Richard Morgan, senior advisor on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at UNICEF
Published: - 26 June 2013

The world is gearing up for the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the same time, work has started on a new framework to guide priority efforts for human progress – including the eradication of poverty in all its forms.
Collectively, we now have another opportunity to set the course for a global sustainable development agenda. That brings many priorities and concerns different people will want to see included.
It will come as no surprise that the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is making the case that children are at the heart of what sustainability requires. 
Those of us immersed in all things “post-2015” speak about integrating the main dimensions of sustainable development - social, economic and environmental, underpinned by the principles of human rights, equality and sustainability - as the cornerstone for a new agenda. We hope it will take a people-centred approach, in which future human progress is led by and accountable to those whose lives are at stake.
We see children at the centre of this because they are both the makers and the markers of healthy, sustainable societies. They are the canary in the coalmine - the earliest warning we get when things go very wrong.
They are the first to suffer the adult sins of omission (neglect of their needs) and commission (violence and other violations of their rights). Children’s nutrition, health, safety, education and other rights are inextricably linked to future economic growth and shared prosperity, to a safe environment and more stable societies. We neglect these rights at our peril.
Evidence shows that how a child develops in the first 1,000 days of life will have lifelong implications for that child, and for society as a whole. Safe, healthy and well-educated children make up the foundation for society to thrive.
A lack of investment in child nutrition, health, care and education can lock individuals and their families into cycles of poverty for generations, and can be an entrenched barrier to their countries’ future progress.
Take stunting, for example. Dozens of countries report up to 40 percent of young children still suffering from stunted growth, with six countries exceeding 50 percent, according to the World Bank’s Global Monitoring Report 2012.
Preventing childhood stunting can help break the cycle of poverty and increase a country’s GDP by at least 2 to 3 percent annually, avoiding billions of dollars in lost productivity and healthcare spending. Childhood deaths and stunting are warning signs of failing, unsustainable development.
Exposure to violence also has life-long implications – from brain injury and physical trauma to depression and development delays. Children exposed to violence can often turn to drug abuse, criminal, violent and other risk-taking behaviours later in life. 
Because their bodies and brains are still developing, children are also more vulnerable to environmental pollution and the stresses of climate change. They are physiologically less able than adults to adapt to heat and other climate-related extremes. The effects on children of scarce and contaminated water and food are well-known.
Children today will shape and determine the societies in which they live. When a child is in poor health, has compromised brain functionality due to poor nutrition or trauma, does not receive a quality education, or does not feel safe at home, school or in the community, that child will be less likely to fulfil his/her potential as a parent, employee or entrepreneur, consumer or environmental protector.
Denying the individual child his or her rights deprives the entire human family of the benefits that derive from those rights.
Lastly, children are not passive recipients of development. They are the group with the most to win or lose from its success or failure.
At a recent U.N. Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in June, a young woman called Ralien Bekkers spoke on behalf of the Major Group on Children and Youth. She challenged governments to “Talk, listen and work together with us for the challenges of our futures…We must become partners and allies for sustainable development.”
She pointed to examples of young people who are coming up with innovative solutions to major global challenges: an 18-year old Indian-American student who built an energy-efficient 20-second cell phone charger; a high school student in the U.S. who invented a fast and inexpensive cancer detector; and a 19-year-old boy from the Netherlands who has proposed a system to help clean plastic from the oceans.
We need children and young people to be empowered, supported and motivated to address the challenges we face globally and in our own societies. And they will only be able to meet those challenges if we invest in their health, nutrition, safety and learning opportunities today. Our common future depends on them.
UNICEF has recently released a position paper: Sustainable Development Starts and Ends with Safe, Healthy and Well-Educated Children.

Photo caption: Swaziland, 2009:  Children clap at a morning assembly at a UNICEF-supported child-friendly school in Mbabane.

Photo credit: © UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi


VIDEO REPORT: Turning the Tide against HIV/AIDS

Ahead of major international conference, UNICEF stresses need for innovation to eliminate new HIV infections

On 22 July, experts will gather in Washington, D.C., for the International AIDS Society’s biennial conference on rolling back the HIV and AIDS epidemic. UNICEF will host a leadership forum stressing the need for innovation in eliminating new HIV infections in children. This video (and story - see link below) is part of a series illustrating UNICEF’s efforts on behalf of children and women affected by HIV.

Learn more:

anonymous asked:

I am a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer. I am working to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals in the Dominican Republic. I specifically work on the three health-related MDG’s.

I was listening to the interview with Yossi Klein Halevi and was touched by his retelling of the story of Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel in 1977. Like the attainment of peace in the Middle East, the Millennium Development Goals seem like a beautiful dream that is unlikely to come true, at least in the case of the Dominican Republic. I wanted to thank Yossi Klein Halevi for reminding us about joyful twists in the story of almost “messianic impossibility.” Religion at its best can motivate to keep working towards the attainment of beautiful goals even though they seem impossible.

Jonathan Aram
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Thank you for the kind words, Jonathan. A story like the late Anwar Sadat visiting Israel is one of those miraculous moments that we ought to hold on to and remember when we start to despair. I will forward on your message and thank you for the work you are doing.

I’ll admit that I have a basic news knowledge of the Dominican Republic but an insufficient understanding of the history of the country — and the island for that matter. Henry Louis Gates’ most recent series on PBS, Black in Latin America, opened my eyes to the backdrop to some of these intractable issues that challenge the people of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. But, the hour also was a heart-warming reminder about the vibrancy, pride, and rich culture of the people living on the island.

—Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Exciting Opportunity!

To get ready for this year’s 58th Commission on the Status of Women, tomorrow we will be launching our social media campaign regarding the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015. We want to know what YOU have to say about them. Every few days we will post a goal with a description of it, and then ask how you feel the UN has done in achieving that goal. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Note: As this is the Working Group on ~Girls~ we are most interested in getting responses from girl bloggers (13 though 18 years old) all over the world.

Follow us to track the responses to the MDGs and find out how YOU can make a difference in the post-2015 agenda! 

August 3, 2009

Up at 6.15a to leave for Mbarara. Woke up sick. Ate breakfast and got on the bus. Ted quarantined me in the front. Checked into the hotel and ate boxed lunches on the bus (current note: this is the first (and last?) time I ate goat). Drove to Ruhiira Millennium Villages Project (MVP). Visiting a farmer now. Many donkeys, goats, and cows. Moved to the project’s hospital, which had a very impressive laboratory, with many tests offered. However, they don’t have much of a plan for sustainability after MVP ends (5 yr project). Saw a gift ceremony with 40 original Boer (pure) goats being given. Ate local pineapple and watermelon. Went back to the hotel at 7.30p. Ate at outside pavilion, while local dancers performed traditional African dances from different parts of Africa. We were dragged up to dance several times. After they finished, some of us kept dancing for several hours. We tried to learn the “booty dance” (current note: they called it that!), which was a very impressive hip-shaking dance that none of us could really figure out. We kept going until around 10 or 11, at which point i had to go to bed. OUr room’s shower was broken, so I sink-showered.

Current reflection:

At the top of this page, I wrote *WRITE MORE ABOUT MPVs* and I didn’t. Now, I work for an NGO that is inextricably tied with the Millennium Development Goals, as their attainment is one of the main goals of the Outcome Document of the UN High-level Meeting in September that I’ve been working. The lack of sustainability in the projects designed to bring the world up to “millennium standards” worries me deeply. To begin, I feel as if the MVPs (at least, the one we saw; I shouldn’t generalize) being unsustainable in any form is a grave disservice to the people that the MDGs intend to aid. Giving a low-income country a service for X amount of years with no intention of making sure it can be carried on after direct aid ends is irresponsible and immoral. One cannot begin a culture of dependence on a service that is in no way able to be carried on by the local infrastructure. Although it’s nice to say (as many people we spoke to in Ruhiira said) that “fundraising is underway” to continue the hospital services after direct aid ends, funding is one of the major battles in any development project. As a whole, I think the MDGs are a wonderful tool, but they must be wielded with precision and care. Otherwise, we will end up with a Millennium World for a few years, and then be stuck watching as it withers and dies, leaving behind empty facilities and dependent populations who have had a taste of what we tell them life should and can be, just to have it taken away from them. Our responsibility is vast, and from what I saw in Uganda, it is not being carried out properly. Whenever the MDGs are mentioned in the Outcome Document, I am nervous, and I can only hope that down the line we will not look back with our collective consciousness and rue the day we adopted these worldwide standards.

In celebration of MDG week, communities in eight different countries where Tostan works has been helping to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals.

In Senegal, the Tostan program has been especially successful in promoting community health to prevent potential fatal diseases such as yellow fever, tetanus and tuberculosis (MDG 6).

Through Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program (CEP), a non-formal education program, Senegalese communities led health initiatives to promote sanitation and healthy behavior. Their efforts have delivered almost 1,500 vaccinations for children under five years old.

 Follow the Tostan blog to hear more about their work towards this year’s MDGs. 

17 June 2012

A good thing:

Brac (the world’s largest NGO) will receive £358m over five years from the UK and Australia to help Bangladesh reach its millennium development goals. Brac will seek to help more than 1.3 million people in extreme poverty, support 680,000 children (60% girls) to receive primary education, provide contraceptive services to more than 15 million people and ensure that 2.9 million women are seen by skilled attendants during childbirth.

Read more:

Facts about the Millennium Development Goals

Facts to remember:

- 189 nations signed up in 2000 to work toward eradicating extreme poverty and ‘multiple deprivations’.

- There are eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) which include:

  • Eradicate hunger and poverty 
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

Remember by the memory word PAIRED (ordered differently of course. Above is the order in which the UN website lists them, and suggests an order of importance!)


- The goals are supposed to be met by 2015.

- Very few goals are on track to be met, if any entirely. It is the case that some are met, or will likely be met in SOME countries, but universally, these goals will not  be met. 

- The goal closest to being met regards water sanitation, however this is surprising given that water aid is actually decreasing despite and increase in global aid. The suggests perhaps this goal was not one that was difficult to meet, and perhaps could have been more stretching. 

- The goals focused on RICs/NICs and LEDCs, although there is a global emphasis on the importance of meeting MDGs, and participation of MEDCs is central to the global partnership idea, and in their efforts to help other countries meet their goals.

- MDGs could be seen as a means of reducing disparities in wealth and development, however it has a more artificial element in terms of the intervention that has been used, where the progress of the goals is not solely due to each country’s development. 

The 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

To meet the world’s Education MDG by 2015, the United Nations hopes to ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. 

This past September, 5 and 6 year olds in the Western world enjoyed their first day at school, while in the developing world, a total of 61 million school-age girls and boys around the world did not go to primary school at all. 

Indeed, the education gap is now increasingly recognized as the root of economic disparity. For centuries, the world’s most brilliant minds have tried to understand why some countries are rich and others poor; why, for example, Americans are 39 times richer than the Nepalese and 140 times richer than the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Attention has focused on whether it is geography, culture, technology capital or poor institutions that spurs us on or holds us back. 

For further discussion see Gordon Brown’s article Educating the World - No More Excuses.