Development goals to tackle extreme Poverty
The United Nations has published its final progress report on the Millennium Development Goals. These were set in 2000 and outlined several targets to tackle extreme poverty in its many forms throughout the world, to be achieved by 2015. The goals focused on areas such as extreme hunger and poverty, reducing child and maternal mortality, promoting gender equality and achieving universal primary education. Whilst the report celebrates the many successes of the agenda, it acknowledges the uneven progress for certain groups in society, such as those in poverty, women and girls, those living in rural areas and those with disabilities. The report states that many of the targets have been met, and cites that between 1990 and 2015 the number of people living in extreme poverty globally dropped by more than half, from 1.9 billion to 836 million. In Southern Asia the ratio of girls to boys in primary education rose from 74 girls per 100 boys to 103 girls per 100 boys. Whilst the situation has improved markedly in areas such as the representation of women in decision making bodies, it acknowledges that there is still a long way to go in achieving the overall aims. It is encouraging to know that there is a concern worldwide for all those people facing difficult and challenging conditions and measures are in place to try to rectify some of these situations. However, we must not be complacent but continue to support those agencies which are doing some remarkable work in crisis situations. The message of Jesus is to love our neighbours and to care for the poor and needy. We have a collective responsibility to help to relieve suffering and provide for those who have nothing. We can all do something however small that might be.