Millenium Development Goals for 2010. This paper aims to analyze the aforementioned report, focusing on Millennium Development Goal 1, i. e. , eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1). Specifically, the goal of this paper is to identify and critique the main arguments of the MDG 1, noting the language of the report and the future challenges that it predicts. The core assumption or the fundamental idea of the report is that because of the global financial crisis in 2009, which has significantly affected the rate of employment thus leading to a higher rate of poverty, the Millennium Development Goal 1 is at risk to be compromised.
The United Nations Development Group even specified not meeting the goal at 2015 as UN’s biggest challenge: One of the targets of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is to reduce the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half between 1990 and 2015, with hunger measured as the proportion of the population who are undernourished and the prevalence of children under five who are underweight.
Many countries remain far from reaching this target, and much of the progress made has been eroded by the recent global food price and economic crises. As we enter the final five years to achieve the MDGs, we look upon one of the greatest challenges of our time with one billion people hungry, 129 million and 195 million children underweight and stunted respectively and more than 2 billion people deficient in micronutrients.
There is inconsistency in the report assumption, specifically target one of the MDG 1 which is “Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day”, as it announced onset that “the global economic crisis has slowed down progress, but the world is still on track to meet poverty reduction target” and yet it specified that the World Bank estimated that the poverty rates will be increased in 2015 up to 2020 due to the crisis.
On the other hand, the report is rather realistic as it presented the progress (or the lack of it) of the MDG 1 target two: “Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people. ” To summarize, it reported that due to the financial crisis, more people become subjected to “vulnerable employment,” a state in which the report characterized it as “… inadequate earnings, low productivity, and substandard working conditions that undermine fundamental labour rights.
” Yet, even before the crisis, the World Bank indicated that avenues for full and productive employment were already out of hand. It is implicitly stated in the report that with five years before the end date of the MDGs, the world is not on track in fulfilling the target goal. In terms of target three of the MDG 1, “Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger”, the report specified that a number of global regions were on their way to cutting the number of poor people in half but progress was hindered because of the global financial crisis.
The report also tackled the proportion of underweight children and indicated that though there is a decline in the number of children who are undernourished, this progress is not enough to meet the desired goal. Again, there is inconsistency in the assumptions of the report when it mentioned that in 1998-2008, the institution is set to meeting the goal and yet the report clearly stated otherwise. WHO explained that there have been improvements in terms of children’s nutrition, but only in selected areas; in Africa, “…
the number of stunted children is projected to increase from 45 million in 1990 to 60 million in 2010. ” Therefore, it is not correct to generalize the data to come up with a unified assumption. The report also indicated its shortcomings. One of which is the lack of good quality surveys; regular monitoring requires these surveys to be carried out at regular intervals and data collection must not be delayed. Another is the absence of data to “… fully understand the impact of food and financial crises on underweight prevalence”, which is essential to find recommendations and proposals for solutions.
The report lacks recommendations in addressing the problems that the global food and financial crises brought. The report is merely a detailed presentation of the facts or data that have been gathered until 2010, which essentially what the MDG report should be about, but it is also necessary that policy recommendations must be indicated to face the challenges that were indicated in the report. One of the poorest regions that was indicated in the report is Africa, and it is given the most attention by international organizations.
The Group of Eight (G8), consisting of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Russia, made a commitment to give aid to Africa in a five-year series development assistance, which aims to “… accelerate Africa’s progress towards the 2015 deadline for the MDGs. ” Lack of information such as the said G8 commitment to Africa and other mechanisms through which the goal is being implemented are among the weaknesses of the report.
Setting aside the technicalities of the report, this paper also aims to assess the language of the document. Just like every press releases, documents, and reports made by and for the UN, the report is full of numerical data, which indicates the need for it to give an impression that each part is factual and every statement is be backed by evidence. However, if seen from a vantage point of a person unfamiliar with the jargons of the UN, the report will lack substance and would only be reflective of a narrative description of words and numbers.
The repetition of data was deemed necessary by the authors of the document for giving emphasis to the facts. Filled with colorful graphs and tables, the report reflects the idea that it is reader-friendly. The simple words used in the entire document also does the same thing. Nevertheless, since the UN MDG Report is a technical paper, it is assumed that its readers are fully equipped with technical matters and terminologies in the political and economic setting. Therefore, the format and language of the report is an acceptable global policy document.
It is implied in the Millennium Development Goal 2010 Report that it is a challenge for the UN and for other international organizations, such as the G8, World Health Organization, and World Bank to meet its 2015 goal, especially the MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The report generalized data in presenting the facts that it is not on the ideal timeline to meet the goal, even though the data if viewed from each one of the regions are different from each other. For example, poverty rate is higher in Africa and East Asia especially after the financial crisis , but in other regions of the globe, poverty rate has decreased.
The report put most of the blame on the global financial crisis in 2009 on why the goal is at risk of not being met at the end date of the project; a large portion of the document tackled it. Leaving it to the global financial and food crisis as the factor accountable for the predicted demise of the Millennium Development Goals is acceptable since the economical impacts of the crisis are massive. However, the lack of recommendations and solutions to address these impacts make the report sound more negative than hopeful.
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