A look back at the MDGS

The eight original MDGs were established in 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit as sustainable and achievable global goals. The goals were time bound - to be completed by 31st December 2015 - and were agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They sought:

1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

2. To achieve universal primary education

3. To promote gender equality and empower women

4. To reduce child mortality

5. To improve maternal health

6. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases 

7. To ensure environmental sustainability

8. To develop a global partnership for development

The Goals have had huge impact all over the world, focusing the international community on the achievement of common goals to alleviate poverty (as shown in this progression report). Today there are less hungry people in the world today and global poverty has been reduced. Nonetheless, many of the targets will not be met. 

What can we expect after 2015?

Good nutrition is linked to most if not all of the MDGs - from reducing child mortality and boosting maternal health, to lifting people out of poverty by enabling them to attend school and earn a living. It is a common misconception that malnutrition and hunger are the same, however many people still suffer from incapacitating and life-threatening malnutrition, even if they eat enough to feel full. 

Today, two billion people lack the vital vitamins and minerals they need for their bodies and brains to grow properly, for them to live a healthy life, and raise a healthy family. Poor nutrition is the underlying cause of an estimated 45% of all child deaths. It leaves 162 million children around the world stunted, with lifelong effects on their health, education and ability to earn a living. 

A development goal focused on improving global nutrition can impact child mortality, maternal health, and female empowerment, freeing families and communities from cycles of poverty and poor health. 

As Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (a One Goal partner) writes:

“It is encouraging that the UN Open Working Group has put ending hunger, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture high on the list of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed the MDGs. By the time the SDGs expire in 2030, the document expects the international community to have put an end to hunger and all forms of malnutrition for good. 

“But, it won’t be an easy task. Demographic shifts and climate change are increasing food insecurity for large numbers of the world’s population. And, as cheap, empty calories enter the diets of consumers across the globe, more and more low and middle-income countries will grapple with the double burden of malnutrition and rising obesity. From tackling food deserts to taking on the unhealthy marketing practices of some large food companies, the post-2015 system must be flexible enough to adapt to these new challenges.  

“We can eliminate malnutrition. And, I believe that it’s possible to do so by 2030. Ambitious targets and a common vision are a great start. But, to fix the food system we need a framework that drives stakeholders to work together, regardless of their differences. In the post-2015 world all actors must play their part if we are to reach the goal of ending malnutrition within our lifetimes.”

 For the next 500 days One Goal joins the global campaign for #MDGmomentum and #Commit2Deliver along with our partners. To join the conversation tweet us @OneGoalAsia and join us on Facebook

Read more about the framework that will replace the MDGs when they expire in 500 days.

Read about how breastfeeding contributes to each of the MDGs: Breastfeeding - A winning goal for life

Read the post from World Vision International (a One Goal partner): Saving 2.2 million lives in the next 500 days