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World Will Not Reach MDG Targets Without More Intense Efforts, Money

Noting “[t]he United Nations General Assembly will meet later this month to assess progress — impressive in some areas, halting in others — toward achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], which were adopted in 2000 and are supposed to be reached by the end of 2015,” a New York Times editorial writes, “International health programs have greatly reduced death and sickness worldwide over the past two decades but there is still a long way to go.” The editorial discusses progress toward reducing maternal and under-five child mortality, adding, “Another Millennium goal — providing antiviral therapy to all people infected with the virus that causes AIDS — has been hard to reach.”

However, “Bangladesh and Liberia, two poor nations, have already reduced their death rates substantially enough to meet their 2015 targets,” the editorial writes, noting, “Progress in lagging countries will depend on greater efforts by local health ministries and the help of low-cost tools like antibiotics for pneumonia, rehydration salts and zinc for diarrhea, and insecticide-treated bed nets to protect children from malaria-bearing mosquitoes.” The editorial concludes, “The 2015 goals are described by the U.N. secretary general as the ‘halfway mark’ in a long-range agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, end hunger and malnutrition, protect the environment through sustainable development of natural resources, and enhance opportunities for all societal groups, including equal rights for women and girls. But without more intense efforts and money, the world will not even reach the halfway mark” (9/10).