In 2000, eight Millennium Development Goals were agreed by the United Nations to tackle the world’s main development challenges. The goals address poverty, health, education, equality and the environment.
There are strong links between all of these issues and ill health, so each goal will support better health. The goals are supposed to be achieved by 2015, but progress has been slow and some are way off track. The failure of wealthy countries to live up to their cash commitments for aid to developing countries is the biggest reason for this.
Health Poverty Action says:
- Wealthy countries must:
- Increase their development aid contributions to 0.7% of gross national income, as promised in 1970
- Cancel the huge debts owed by developing countries, and reform trade rules that harm developing economies
- Ensure fair and affordable access to essential medicines and new technologies.
- Developing countries should increase the proportion of spending going to health. African Union countries pledged in 2001 to devote 15% of national budgets to health, but few have been able to come close to this.
As the Millennium Development Goals are due to expire in 2015 a new framework for ending poverty is currently being devised. For more information on this click here.