worldbank.org

It was 15 years ago when in the largest ever gathering of the world leaders, the UN Millennium Summit,pledged to work together to help the world’s poorest people. They agreed on a set of targets that became known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The deadline they set themselves to meet these was 31 December 2015. With just a few months until the MDGs expire, how much progress has been made and what should happen next?

There have of course been successes: the world has already met the first MDG target of halving the world’s population living in extreme poverty (on less than USD 1.25 per day). But 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty and vulnerability remains high. At the same time, problems in measuring poverty present barriers to effective policy making. Progress has also been uneven – not all countries, regions, age groups, social sectors or genders have benefited equally from the advances that have been made. 

The truth is, the quality of life has not improved for all. 

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