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U.N. Report On MDGs Shows Declining Aid; SG Ban Urges Increased Global Partnership

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday “urged a stronger global partnership to advance progress on the development targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, as a new United Nations report finds that significant gains risk slowing due to declining aid,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed on by world leaders at a U.N. summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development,'” the news service notes (9/20). According to the 2012 MDG Gap Task Force Report (.pdf), official development assistance (ODA) from the 23 primary donors in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development dropped by almost three percent (in real terms) in 2011 after reaching a peak in 2010, Agence France-Presse notes. “To reach the U.N. target of 0.7 percent of gross national income devoted to aid, the world’s richest nations should be spending more than $300 billion,” the news service writes (9/20).

“Out of 23 DAC donors, 16 cut their aid,” with the largest decreases made by Greece and Spain as a result of the economic crisis that began in 2008, the Guardian notes, adding, “Only Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark and the Netherlands still provided aid over and above the U.N. target of 0.7 percent of donor country GNI” (Tran, 9/20). “On the brighter side, the report points out that despite the global economic downturn, resources available for the provision of essential medicines through some disease-specific global health funds increased in 2011,” including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the GAVI Alliance, Inter Press Service writes. “The task force has called on donor governments to honor their ODA commitments despite budgetary constraints and make multi-year forward spending plans publicly available in order to increase transparency and reduce volatility of aid,” as well as “urged an increase in other sources of development financing, … including philanthropy and innovative financing,” IPS notes (Deen, 9/20). “Despite weakening international support, Mr. Ban said, some goals have already been achieved,” the Associated Press/New York Times reports, adding, “But the report warned that the $167 billion gap could worsen as a result of the delayed impact from the economic crisis on donors between 2013 and 2015” (9/20).

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