As I blogged the other day, I’m learning about the Millenium Development Goals, where we’re up to in reaching them and what we can do to help.
This Goal, the first on the list, is close to many of our hearts. If you sponsor a child in a developing country or support mission and relief efforts, this is an issue you’re probably concerned about. The issue is poverty. The first goal of the Millenium Development Goals is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Poverty is something the western world has cared about for a long time and one which many people have tried to eradicate. The great thing about the Millenium Development Goals is that many nations have agreed to work together in a strategic plan to see what can be done, instead of working as individuals.
Goal #1 is broken up into three specific targets:
Target 1: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day.
The UN admits that “the global economic crisis has slowed progress,” but is confident that we’re still on track to meet the target. They also said that “prior to the crisis, the depth of poverty had diminished in almost every region.” (Diminish: To make or cause to seem smaller, less, less important, etc.; lessen; reduce)
Target 2: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.
The UN again sites the global financial crisis as a trigger for the “deterioration of the labour market” and “a decline in employment.” It also reports that this has forced more people into “vulnerable employment”, leaving more workers and their families living in extreme poverty.
Target 3: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
Again, the financial crisis is believed to be the reason for a spike in hunger in 2009; this has disheartened many in their battle against hunger. Unfortunately, one in four children in the developing world are still underweight, with children living in rural areas nearly twice as likely to be underweight as those in urban areas.
So by the sounds of it, employment rates and conditions are improving, but the availability of food is still a real problem.
These charts from UNICEF give more clarity on the progress.
I’m excited to see that the Sisterhood, a group of passionate, Godly women are making a difference and working towards reaching these goals. Here’s what the website had to say about Goal #1:
Compassion works tirelessly to assist sponsored children so that children of sponsored children do not need sponsorship themselves. Proven over 30 years of working in the developing world – sponsoring a child through Compassion breaks the cycle of poverty in that generation. Compassion also provides food aid to struggling families of their sponsored children.
Living Hope provides a program designed to assist HIV+ women from living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger. It provides food, income support, skills training and life skills to break the cycle of poverty for these women and their children.
Watoto through their homes and baby homes removes children from extreme poverty and provides for them in a holistic way ensuring their future is free from poverty and hunger.
Vision Rescue is working with the street children of Mumbai, India to provide them with a nutritionally complete meal every day to stave off hunger and also provides non-formal education to allow them to break the cycle of poverty. Our work in building a kitchen for Vision Rescue is directly impacting this goal.
Obviously, there are many, many other organisations and groups working towards the common goal of poverty eradication. Please feel free to share links or any thought you may have on the progress of these goals, or what we can do as individuals to help the whole.
I hope this has helped you understand the first goal a little bit more..