Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report
Africa’s poverty rates have continued to decline, despite the adverse effects of the recent food, fuel, and global economic crisis, according to the 2014 MDG Report, “Assessing Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa”, produced annually by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). However, conflict, political instability and natural or man-made disasters threaten to unravel the progress made on the MDGs, the eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015. “Even after societies recuperate, the potential for development remains impaired long after the crises are over, as human capital is depleted and institutions are weakened,” according to this year’s report. The Ebola crisis in West Africa, a region that was experiencing significant growth and development progress, threatens to set back affected and surrounding countries by several years. The key for the region is to ensure sustained growth rates and economic diversification, good governance and accountability, and continued focus on social protection for all, including the most vulnerable.