2015 UN Millennium Development Goals

12 Mar, 2014 - By

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The UN Millennium Development Goals

In 2000, 147 Heads of State committed to achieving eight goals to halve global poverty by 2015. These targets include decreasing hunger and disease, increasing access to water and basic shelter; closing the gap on gender inequality, education, and human rights; and environmental sustainability.

In terms of water alone, achieving these goals would mean 350 million more people would have access to safe drinking water and 650 million would benefit from basic sanitation. The Millennium Declaration’s vision is one of shared responsibility to bring about positive change in the developing world.

Governments of developing countries need to create governance and societal structures that would create an enabling environment for success towards poverty eradication. Business need to provide capital, technology, and managerial efficiency.

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Lack of clean water and sanitation – major cause of poverty and malnutrition
  2. 1.1 billion lack access to water
  3. 2.6 lack access to proper sanitation
  4. Diseases and productivity losses linked to adequate water and sanitation (around 2% ofGDP average, UN Source)
  5. In poorest countries, only 25% of poorest have access to piped water
  6. Poor household can pay as much as 10x as wealthy households
  7. Water vital for poor farmers who live on less than $1 a day
  8. Pressure to re-allocate water from agriculture to industry threaten rural poor

Government Should:

  1. Bring water and sanitation into mainstreams of national and international strategies
  2. Make water a human right (with a minimum access of at least 20 liters per day)
  3. Increase public awareness
  4. Increase public investment in urban areas and water provision in rural areas
  5. Introduce lifeline tariffs and other subsidies
  6. Regulate water utilities to ensure equity
  7. Introduce public police that involve water resources for agriculture
  8. Support development of smart irrigation technologies

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Collecting water and carrying it long distances keeps millions of girls out of school, and leaves them with a future of illiteracy and  limited choices
  2. Water-related diseases such as diarrheas cost 443 million school days each year, and diminish learning potential
  3. Inadequate water and sanitation in many countries are a threat to child health
  4. A major reason that girls drop out (no private place for girls)
  5. Parasitic infection transmitted through water and poor sanitation retards learning potential for 150 million children

Government Should:

  1. Link target and strategies for achieving universal primary education and ensuring every school has proper facilities, with separate facilities for girls
  2. Make sanitation and hygiene part of school curriculum, reducing health risks and enabling them to be agents of change
  3. Establish public health programs in school and communities

Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Perpetuates gender inequality and dis-empowers women
  2. Women bear responsibility of collecting water, spending up to 4 hours a day walking
  3. Time women spend on children ill from bad water reduces time for productive work
  4. Inadequate sanitation – lost of dignity and source of insecurity
  5. Women account for bulk of food production but experience restricted rights to water

Government Should:

  1. Put gender equity in water and sanitation at center of national poverty reduction strategies
  2. Enact legislation that requires female representation on water committees
  3. Support sanitation campaigns that give women a greater voice in shaping publicinvestment decisions
  4. Reform property rights and rules governing irrigation to ensure women have equal rights

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Dirty water and inadequate sanitation account for vast majority of 1.8 million child deaths from diarrhea – almost 5,000 each day (second largest cause of child mortality)
  2. Access to clean water and sanitation can reduce risk of child dying by as much as 50%
  3. Diarrhea caused by unclean water one of world’s greatest killers – claims five times as many children as HIV/AIDS
  4. Clean water and sanitation among most powerful preventative measures for child mortality
  5. Waterborne diseases reinforce deep and socially unjust disparities – poor children have 3-4 time higher risk of dying than rich children

Government Should:

  1. Treat child deaths from water and sanitation as an emergency and violation of basic human right
  2. Use international aid to strengthen basic healthcare
  3. Establish links for lowering child deaths with improve water and sanitation
  4. Prioritize needs of poorest households in public investment and provision
  5. Emphasize that poverty reduction is linked to child mortality and water and sanitation
  6. Publish annual estimates of child deaths caused by water and sanitation

Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

Why Government Should Act:

1. Clean water and sanitation reduce diseases that undermine maternal health and contribute to maternal mortality

Government Should:

  1. Include water and sanitation as key components in gender equality strategies
  2. Empower women to shape decision around water and sanitation

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria & Other Diseases

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Inadequate access to water and sanitation restricts hygiene and exposes people with HIV/ AIDS to increased risk of infection
  2. HIV/Infected mothers need clean water to make formula milk
  3. Achieving MDG for water and sanitation would reduce cost of health systems of treatingwater-related infectious disease by $1.7 billion, increasing resources for HIV/Aidstreatment
  4. Poor sanitation and drainage contribute to malaria, which claims 1.3 million a year (90%children under 5)

Government Should:

  1. Integrate water and sanitation into strategies for malaria and HIV/AIDS solutions
  2. Ensure HIM/AID household have access to at least 50 liters of water
  3. Invest in drainage and sanitation facilities that reduce presence of flies and mosquitoes

Goal 7: (A) Ensure Environmental Sustainability

(Half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation)

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Goal of halving people without access to water and sanitation will be missed on current trends by 234 million people for water and 430 million people for sanitation
  2. Sub-Sahara Africa will need to increase new connections for sanitation from 7 million a year for past decade to 28 million a year by 2015
  3. Slow progress in water and sanitation will hold back advances in other areas

Government Should:

  1. Put into place practical measures that translate MDG commitments into practical actions
  2. Provide national and international political leadership to overcome water deficits
  3. Supplement disparities between richest and poorest 20%
  4. Empower independent regulators to hold service providers to account for deliveringefficient and affordable services to poor

Goal 7: (B) Ensure Environmental Sustainability

(Reverse Loss of Environmental Resources)

Why Government Should Act:

  1. Unsustainable exploitation of water resources represents a growing threat to human development – unsustainable ecological debt that will be transferred to future generations
  2. Number of people living in water-stressed countries will increase from 700 million todayto more than 3 billion by 2025
  3. Over 1.4 billion currently live in river basins where use of water exceeds minimumrecharge levels, leading to desiccation of rivers and depletion of groundwater
  4. Water insecurity linked to climate change threatens to increase malnutrition by 75-125million people by 2080, with staple food production in many Sub-Saharan African countries falling by more than 25%
  5. Groundwater depletion – threat to agricultural systems, food security and livelihoods across Asia and Middle East

Government Should:

  1. Treat water as precious natural resource, rather than expendable commodity to be exploited
  2. Reform national accounts to reflect economic losses associated with water depletion
  3. Introduce integrated water resources management policies that constrain water use,factoring in sustainability of environment
  4. Institutionalizing policies that create incentives for conserving water and eliminatingsubsidies that encourage unsustainable water-use patterns
  5. Strengthen provisions of Kyoto Protocol to limit carbon emissions in line withstabilization targets of 450 parts per million, bolstering clean technology transfer mechanisms and bringing all countries under stronger multilateral framework for emission reductions in 2012
  6. Develop national adaptation strategies for dealing with climate change

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Why Government Should Act:

  1. No effective global partnership for water and sanitation. (Successive high-level conferences have failed to create momentum to push water and sanitation on international agenda)
  2. Many national governments failing to put in place policies and financing needed to accelerate progress
  3. Water and sanitation weakly integrated into Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers
  4. Many countries with high child death rates caused by diarrhea spending less than 0.5% ofGDP on water and sanitation, fraction of military budget
  5. Rich countries have failed to prioritize water and sanitation in international aidpartnerships, spending on sector has been falling in real terms
  6. International aid to agriculture fallen by a third since early 1990 – from 12% to 3.5% oftotal aid

Government Should:

  1. Put in place global plan of action to galvanize political action, place water and sanitation on G8 agenda, mobilize resources
  2. Develop national plans for medium-term financing and practical policies for overcoming inequality
  3. Empower local governments and local communities through decentralization, capacity development and adequate financing – 1% of GDP allocated to water and sanitation through public spending
  4. Increasing aid for water by $3.6-$4 billion annually by 2010 with additional $2 billion allocated to Sub-Saharan Africa
  5. Increase aid for agriculture from $3 billion to $10 billion annually by 2010 with focus on water security

Source – UNDP

 

 

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