Resource centre on India's rural distress



Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

In order to address the problems of poverty, inequality and climate change, world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York on 25 September, 2015 to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As per the United Nations Development Programme  India website (please click here to access), the 2030 Agenda that comprises 17  new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is expected to guide policy and funding for the next 15 years, beginning with a historic pledge to end poverty.

At the Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. The MDGs, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation. Although enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, poverty has not been ended for all, as per the UNDP India website.

The new SDGs, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.

The concept of the SDGs was born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, in 2012. The objective was to produce a set of universally applicable goals that balances the three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, social, and economic.

The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which in September 2000 rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty.

SDGs image


According to the website (please click here to access) of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), the 17 [inside]Sustainable Development Goals[/inside] are as follows:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


Given the importance accorded by the Government of India to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), NITI Aayog decided to estimate the progress through a single measurable index that would serve as an advocacy tool and trigger action at the state/ UT level. 

NITI Aayog has constructed the SDG India Index spanning across 13 out of the 17 SDGs (leaving out Goals 12, 13, 14 and 17). The progress on SDG 12, 13 and 14 could not be measured because relevant state-level data could not be consolidated or found. SDG 17 was left out because the Goal is focused on international partnerships, being less relevant for domestic level policy actions.

The Index tracks the progress of all the states and UTs on a set of 62 Priority Indicators, measuring their progress on the outcomes of the interventions and schemes of the Government of India. The SDG India Index is intended to provide a holistic view on the social, economic and environmental status of the country and its states and UTs.

The SDG India Index is an aggregate measure which can be understood and used by everyone—policymakers, businesses, civil society and the general public. It aims to measure India and its states’/ UTs' progress towards attaining the SDGs for 2030.

Sixty-two priority indicators were selected for computation of the SDG India Index after extensive discussions with 38 Central Ministries/ Departments and states/ UTs. Being the baseline report, this particular report does not consider time-series comparison of data.

A composite score was computed for each state and UT of India based on their aggregate performance across 13 of the 17 SDGs. The value of the score indicates the average performance of the state/ UT towards achieving the 13 SDGs and their respective targets. The score ranges between 0 and 100. If a state achieves a score of 100, it signifies that the state has achieved the national target set for 2030. On the other hand, if a state achieves a score of 0, it signifies that the state was the worst performer.

Based on the SDG India Index score, states and UTs were classified into 4 categories under each of the SDGs (except Goals 12, 13, 14 and 17)

* Achiever – when SDG India Index score is equal to 100
* Front Runner – when SDG India Index score is less than 100 but greater than or equal to 65
* Performer – when SDG India Index score is less than 65 but greater than or equal to 50
* Aspirant – when SDG India Index score is less than 50

The key findings of the [inside]SDG India Index Baseline Report (2018)[/inside], which has been prepared by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the United Nations, are as follows (click here and here to access):

• The SDG Index Score for Sustainable Development Goals 2030 ranges between 42 and 69 for states and between 57 and 68 for UTs.

• Among the states, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh are the front runners with a SDG India Index score of 69 each. Among the UTs, Chandigarh is a front runner with a score of 68. There is no achiever among states/ UTs. The aspirants are Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh with SDG Index Score below 50. The SDG India Index score for country is 57.

• Kerala’s (SDG Index Score: 69) top rank is attributed to its superior performance in providing good health, reducing hunger, achieving gender equality and providing quality education. Himachal Pradesh (SDG Index Score: 69) ranks high on providing clean water and sanitation, in reducing inequalities and preserving mountain ecosystem.

• Among the UTs, Chandigarh (SDG Index Score: 68) takes the lead because of its exemplary performance in providing clean water and sanitation to its people. It has further made good progress towards and economic growth, and providing quality education.

• Sustainable Development Goal 1 aims to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. The Index Score for SDG 1 on poverty ranges between 37 and 76 for states and between 21 and 61 for UTs. Tamil Nadu (SDG 1 Index Score: 76) and Puducherry (SDG 1 Index Score: 61) are the best performers among the states and UTs, respectively. There is no achiever among states/ UTs. The aspirants are Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delhi and Lakshadweep with SDG 1 Index Score below 50. The SDG 1 Index score for country is 54.

• Sustainable Development Goal 2 aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people -- especially children -- have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Zero Hunger ranges between 35 and 80 for states and between 38 and 72 for UTs. Goa (SDG 2 Index Score: 80) and Delhi (SDG 2 Index Score: 72) were the top performing among states and UTs, respectively. There is no achiever among states and UTs. The aspirants are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep with SDG 2 Index Score below 50. The SDG 2 Index score for country is 48.

• Sustainable Development Goal 3 aims to ensure that people enjoy a level of health that enables them to lead a socially and economically productive life. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Good Health and Well-being ranges between 25 and 92 for states and between 23 and 66 for UTs. Kerala (SDG 3 Index Score: 92) is the best performer among the states, and Puducherry (SDG 3 Index Score: 66) is the best performer among the UTs. There is no achiever among states and UTs. The aspirants are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Delhi with SDG 3 Index Score below 50. The SDG 3 Index score for country is 52.

• Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education for all, including technical and vocational training by providing lifelong learning opportunities, so as to achieve substantial adult literacy and numeracy. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Quality Education ranges between 36 and 87 for states and between 46 and 85 for UTs. Among the states, Kerala (SDG 4 Index Score: 87) is the top performer and Chandigarh (SDG 4 Index Score: 85) is the top performer among the UTs. No state or UT is an achiever. The aspirants are Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim and Daman & Diu with SDG 4 Index Score below 50. The SDG 4 Index score for country is 58.

• Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality by ending all forms of discrimination, violence and harmful practices, including trafficking and sexual exploitation against women and girls. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Gender Equality ranges between 24 and 50 for states and between 27 and 58 for UTs. Kerala (SDG 5 Index Score: 50) and Sikkim (SDG 5 Index Score: 50) among the states, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (SDG 5 Index Score: 58), and Chandigarh (SDG 5 Index Score: 51) among the UTs are in the Performer category (with index score greater than/ equal to 50 and less than 65). There are no achievers among states/ UTs. There are 27 aspirants among states and 5 aspirants among UTs with SDG 5 Index Score below 50. The SDG 5 Index score for country is 36.   

• Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation aims to improve water quality by reducing pollution, substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors and supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Clean Water and Sanitation ranges between 31 and 100 for states and between 45 and 100 for UTs. Among the states, Gujarat (SDG 6 Index Score: 100) has achieved a full score of 100. The same score is shared by Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Lakshadweep among the UTs. The aspirants are Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tripura and Puducherry with SDG 6 Index Score below 50. The SDG 6 Index score for country is 63.

• Sustainable Development Goal 7 aims to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by the year 2030. Among the states, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Karnataka are the top 3 performers on this Goal with a score of 89, 78 and 77, respectively. Among UTs, Chandigarh fares the best with a score of 96. There are no achievers among states and UTs. The aspirants are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal with SDG 7 Index Score below 50. The SDG 7 Index score for country is 51. 

• The Sustainable Development Goal 8 of Decent Work and Economic Growth aims to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification and technological upgradation and also promote development-oriented policies that support decent job creation, entrepreneurship and creativity and innovation. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Decent Work and Economic Growth ranges between 33 and 90 for states and between 60 and 91 for UTs. Among the states, Goa (SDG 8 Index Score: 90) is the top performer, and Daman and Diu (SDG 8 Index Score: 91) is the top performer among the UTs. There are no achievers among states and UTs. The aspirants are Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland with SDG 8 Index Score below 50. The SDG 8 Index score for country is 65.

• The Sustainable Development Goal 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure aims at building quality, reliable and resilient infrastructure. It further aims at promoting increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, to support economic development and human well-being. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure ranges between 0 and 72 for states and between 0 and 100 for UTs. The UTs of Delhi and Puducherry are the achievers of this Goal as they scored a full 100 on the Index. Manipur (SDG 9 Index Score: 72), Kerala (SDG 9 Index Score: 68) and Gujarat (SDG 9 Index Score: 65) are the front runners among states. There is no achiever among states and UTs. There are 22 aspirants among states and 4 aspirants among UTs with SDG 9 Index Score below 50. The SDG 9 Index score for country is 44. 

• Sustainable Development Goal 10 on Reduced Inequalities calls for progressively reducing not only income inequalities but also inequalities of outcome by ensuring access to equal opportunities and promoting social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or other status relevant within a society. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Reduced Inequalities ranges between 38 and 100 for states and between 52 and 100 for UTs. The achievers (with Index score equal to 100) among the states are Meghalaya, Mizoram and Telangana, and among the UTs are Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Lakshadweep. The aspirants are Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh among states with SDG 10 Index Score below 50. The SDG 10 Index score for country is 71.

• Sustainable Development Goal 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities aims to promote inclusive and sustainable urbanization by providing access to safe and affordable housing, public transport, basic services and green public spaces through improved urban planning and management. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Sustainable Cities and Communities ranges between 23 and 71 for states and between 6 and 64 for UTs. Among the states, Goa (SDG 11 Index Score: 71) is the top performer, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (SDG 11 Index Score: 64) is the top performer among the UTs. There is no achiever among states and UTs. There are 24 aspirants among states and 5 aspirants among UTs with SDG 11 Index Score below 50. The SDG 11 Index score for country is 39.

• Sustainable Development Goal 15 aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, while also integrating ecosystem and biodiversity into national and local planning, developmental processes, poverty reduction strategies and national accounts. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Life on Land ranges between 43 and 100 for states and between 50 and 100 for UTs. The achievers (with an Index score equal to 100) are Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Manipur, Odisha and Uttarakhand among the states, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep among the UTs. The aspirant is Haryana with SDG 15 Index Score of 43 (<50). The SDG 15 Index score for country is 90.

• Sustainable Development Goal 16 primarily focusses on significantly reducing all forms of violence, and promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels to ensure equal access to justice for all. The SDG Index Score for the Goal of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions ranges between 53 and 91 for states and between 63 and 92 for UTs. Himachal Pradesh with a score of 91 and Puducherry with a score of 92 top the list of states and UTs, respectively. There is no achiever among states and UTs. There is no aspirant among states and UTs. The SDG 16 Index score for country is 71.


As per the [inside]National Health Profile 2018, 13th Issue[/inside], Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (please click here to access):

• On most targets pertaining to health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), India lags behind the target. For example, although the target for coverage of essential health services is 100 percent (indicator no. 3.8.1), in our country only 57 percent of the population is covered by such services. Similarly, although the target for Maternal Mortality Ratio (per 1,00,000 live births) is 70 by 2030 (indicator no. 3.1.1), MMRatio in India presently is 174.

• The target for Under-five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) is 25 by 2030 (indicator no. 3.2.1). However, U5MR in the country is 47.7.

• In case of many SDG-related indicators such as Suicide mortality rate (per 100,000 population) (indicator no. 3.4.2) or say Adolescent birth rate (per 1000 women aged 15-19 years) (indicator no. 3.7.2), the SDG target is yet to be determined.

• For many SDG-related indicators such as Hepatitis B incidence (indicator no. 3.3.4), or say Proportion of the population with access to affordable medicines and vaccines on a sustainable basis (indicator no. 3.b.1), the data for India is either not provided or remain unavailable.


Table: Current Status of Health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target - Indian Scenario

Health related SDGs


Source: Monitoring Health in the Sustainable Development Goals: 2017, World Health Organization, Regional Office for South East Asia, as quoted in the National Health Profile 2018, please click here to access, page no. 288

Report of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (E/CN.3/2016/2/Rev.1), please click here to access 



As per the NITI Aayog website (please click here to access), India' present status vis-à-vis the SDGs, broadly speaking, are as follows:

Goal 1

* Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half from 1.9 billion in 1990. However, 836 million people still live in extreme poverty. About one in five persons in developing regions lives on less than $1.25 per day.
* Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are home to the overwhelming majority of people living in extreme poverty.
* High poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries.
* One in four children under age five in the world has inadequate height for his or her age.
* The all India Poverty Head Count Ratio (PHCR) has been brought down from 47 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2011-2012, nearly halved.


Goal 2

* Globally, the proportion of undernourished people in the developing regions has fallen by almost half since 1990, from 23.3 percent in 1990-1992 to 12.9 percent in 2014-2016. However, one in nine people in the world today (795 million) are still undernourished.
* The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.
* Asia is the continent with the hungriest people – two-thirds of the total. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years, but in western Asia it has increased slightly.
* Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence (percentage of population) of hunger. About one person in four there is undernourished.
* Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 percent) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
* One in four of the world’s children suffer stunted growth. In developing countries the proportion rises to one in three.
* 66 million primary school-age children in developing countries attend classes hungry, with 23 million in Africa alone.
* Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 percent of today’s global population. It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households.
* 500 million small farms worldwide, most still rain fed, provide up to 80 percent of food consumed in a large part of the developing world. Investing in smallholder farmers is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poorest, as well as food production for local and global markets.
* In 1990, 53 percent of all Indian children were malnourished. In 2015, malnourishment declined to 40 percent.


Goal 3

Child health

* 17,000 fewer children die each day than in 1990, but more than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year.
* Since 2000, measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths.
* Despite global progress, an increasing proportion of child deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Four out of every five deaths of children under age five occur in these regions.
* India’s Under Five Mortality (U5MR) declined from 125 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 49 per 1,000 live births in 2013.

Maternal health

* Globally, maternal mortality has fallen by almost 50 percent since 1990.
* In Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Southern Asia, maternal mortality has declined by around two-thirds. But, the maternal mortality ratio – the proportion of mothers that do not survive childbirth compared to those who do – in developing regions is still 14 times higher than in the developed regions.
* Only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care.
* From a Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of 437 per 100,000 live births in 1990-91, India came down to 167 in 2009. Delivery in institutional facilities has risen from 26 percent in 1992-93 to 72 percent in 2009.


* By 2014, there were 13.6 million people accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase from just 800,000 in 2003.
* New HIV infections in 2013 were estimated at 2.1 million, which was 38 percent lower than in 2001.
* At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 35 million people living with HIV.
* At the end of 2013, 240,000 children were newly infected with HIV.
* India has made significant strides in reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS across different types of high-risk categories. Adult prevalence has come down from 0.45 percent in 2002 to 0.27 in 2011.


Goal 4

* Enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 percent, but 57 million children remain out of school.
* More than half of children who have not enrolled in school live in sub-Saharan Africa.
* An estimated 50 percent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas. Children in the poorest households are 4 times as likely to be out of school as children in the richest households.
* The world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, but few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education.
* Among youth aged 15 to 24, the literacy rate has improved globally from 83 per cent to 91 per cent between 1990 and 2015.
* India has made significant progress in universalizing primary education. Enrolment and completion rates of girls in primary school have improved as are elementary completion rates. The net enrolment ratio in primary education (for both sexes) is 88 percent (2013-14). At the national level, male and female youth literacy rate is 94 percent and 92 percent.


Goal 5

* In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990. By 2012, the enrolment ratios were the same for girls and for boys.
* In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
* Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector.
* In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.
* India is on track to achieve gender parity at all education levels, having already achieved it at the primary level. The ratio of female literacy to male literacy for 15- 24 year olds is 0.91.
* As of August 2015, in India the proportion of seats in National Parliament held by women is only 12 percent against the target of 50 percent.


Goal 6

* In 2015, 91 percent of the global population is using an improved drinking water source, compared to 76 percent in 1990. However, 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.
* Each day, an average of 5,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases.
* Hydropower is the most important and widely used renewable source of energy and as of 2011, represented 16 percent of total electricity production worldwide.
* Approximately 70 percent of all available water is used for irrigation.
* Floods account for 15 percent of all deaths related to natural disasters.
* The overall proportion of households in India having access to improved water sources increased from 68 percent in 1992-93 to 90.6 percent in 2011-12.
* In 2012, 59 percent households in rural areas and 8 percent in urban India did not have access to improved sanitation facilities. Almost 600 million people in India defecate in the open, the highest number in the world.


Goal 7

* 1.3 billion people – one in five globally – still lack access to modern electricity.
* 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.
* Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
* Energy from renewable resources – wind, water, solar, biomass and geothermal energy – is inexhaustible and clean. Renewable energy currently constitutes 15 percent of the global energy mix.
* The total installed capacity for electricity generation in India has registered a compound annual growth rate of 7 percent (2013-14).
* The total installed capacity of grid interactive renewable power has been showing a growth rate of over 12 percent (2013-14).


Goal 8

* Global unemployment increased from 170 million in 2007 to nearly 202 million in 2012, of which about 75 million are young women and men.
* Nearly 2.2 billion people live below the US$2 poverty line and poverty eradication is only possible through stable and well-paid jobs.
* 470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labour market between 2016 and 2030.
* Small and medium-sized enterprises that engage in industrial processing and manufacturing are the most critical for the early stages of industrialization and are typically the largest job creators. They make up over 90 percent of business worldwide and account for between 50-60 percent of employment.
* The unemployment rate in India is estimated to be approximately 5 percent at All India level (2013-14). India’s labour force is set to grow by more than 8 million per year.


Goal 9

* About 2.6 billion people in the developing world are facing difficulties in accessing electricity full time.
* 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to basic sanitation and almost 800 million people lack access to water, many hundreds of millions of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
* 1 to 1.5 million people do not have access to reliable phone service.
* For many African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, infrastructure constraints affect company productivity by around 40 percent.
* Manufacturing is an important employer, accounting for around 470 million jobs worldwide in 2009 – or around 16 percent of the world’s workforce of 2.9 billion. It is estimated that there were more than half a billion jobs in manufacturing in 2013.
* Industrialization’s job multiplication effect has a positive impact on society. Every one job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors.
* In developing countries, barely 30 percent of agricultural production undergoes industrial processing. In high-income countries, 98 percent is processed. This suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness.
* India’s growth rate averaged at 7.25 percent in the last 5 years.
* India’s CO2 emissions per capita are 1.67 (metric tons), one of the lowest in the world, the global average being around 4-5(metric tons). In 2010, per capita annual electricity consumption was 626 kwH compared to the global average of 2977 kwH.


Goal 10

* On average – and taking into account population size – income inequality increased by 11 percent in developing countries between 1990 and 2010.
* A significant majority of households in developing countries – more than 75 percent – are living today in societies where income is more unequally distributed than it was in the 1990s.
* Children in the poorest 20 percent of the population are still up to three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in the richest quintiles.
* Social protection has been significantly extended globally, yet persons with disabilities are up to five times more likely than average to incur catastrophic health expenditures.
* Despite overall declines in maternal mortality in the majority of developing countries, women in rural areas are still up to three times more likely to die while giving birth than women living in urban centres.
* The Gini Coefficient of income inequality for India has risen from 33.4 percent in 2004 to 33.6 percent in 2011.


Goal 11

* Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today. By 2030, almost 60 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas.
* 828 million people live in slums today and the number keeps rising.
* The world’s cities occupy just 2 percent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60 – 80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions. Rapid urbanization is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment, and public health. But the high density of cities can bring efficiency gains and technological innovation while reducing resource and energy consumption.
* Cities have the potential to either dissipate the distribution of energy or optimize their efficiency by reducing energy consumption and adopting green – energy systems. For instance, Rizhao, China has turned itself into a solar – powered city; in its central districts, 99 percent of households already use solar water heaters.
* 68 percent of India’s total population lives in rural areas (2013-14).
* By 2030, India is expected to be home to 6 mega-cities with populations above 10 million. Currently 17 percent of India’s urban population lives in slums.


Goal 12

* 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year.
* If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient lightbulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually.
* Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.
* More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.
* India is the fourth largest GHG emitter, responsible for 5.3 percent of global emissions. India has committed to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20 to 25 percent by 2020.


Goal 13

* The greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Global emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by almost 50 percent since 1990.
* The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40 percent since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30 percent of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification.
* Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years.
* From 1880 to 2012, average global temperature increased by 0.85°C. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century – with some areas of the world, including in the tropics and subtropics, expected to warm even more. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.
* The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia. Over the period 1901 to 2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] meters.
* From 1901 to 2010, the global average sea level rose by 19 cm as oceans expanded due to warming and melted ice. The Arctic’s sea ice extent has shrunk in every successive decade since 1979, with 1.07 million km² of ice loss every decade.
* It is still possible, using an array of technological measures and changes in behaviour, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
* There are multiple mitigation pathways to achieve the substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades necessary to limit, with a greater than 66 percent chance, the warming to 2ºC – the goal set by governments. However, delaying additional mitigation to 2030 will substantially increase the technological, economic, social and institutional challenges associated with limiting the warming over the 21 century to below 2 ºC relative to pre-industrial levels
* India has committed to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20 to 25 percent by 2020.


Goal 14

* Oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 percent of the living space on the planet by volume.
* Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5 percent of global GDP.
* Globally, the levels of capture fisheries are near the ocean’s productive capacity, with catches on the order of 80 million tons.
* Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.
* Oceans absorb about 30 percent of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
* Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source.
* Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people.
* Subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing efforts to save and restore global fisheries and related jobs, causing ocean fisheries to generate US$ 50 billion less per year.
* As much as 40 percent of world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.
* There are some 120 species of marine mammal to be found in the world, and a fourth of these may be found in India and adjacent countries. More than 1 million people in 3651 villages of India situated along the coast are employed in marine capture fisheries.


Goal 15

* Thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year.
* Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood. This includes some 70 million indigenous people. Forests are home to more than 80 percent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
* 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture, but 52 percent of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation.
* Due to drought and desertification each year, 12 million hectares are lost (23 hectares per minute), where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown.
* Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 percent are extinct and 22 percent are at risk of extinction.
* As many as 80 percent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-based medicines for basic healthcare.
* Forest cover in India has increased to 21.23 percent - an increase of 5871 sq. km, and protected areas cover to about 4.8 percent of the country’s total land area.
* India is among the early movers on the Nagoya protocol and is committed to the Aichi targets on conserving biodiversity.
* India has 8 percent of the world’s biodiversity with many species that are not found anywhere else in the world.


Goal 16

* The number of refugees of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stood at 13 million in mid-2014, up from a year earlier.
* Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year.
* The rate of children leaving primary school in conflict-affected countries reached 50 percent in 2011, which amounts to 28.5 million children.
* In India, more than 20 percent of all pupils and one-third of all Scheduled Tribe students drop out before finishing primary education.


Goal 17

* Official development assistance (ODA) stood at approximately $135 billion in 2014.
* In 2014, 79 percent of imports from developing countries entered developed countries duty-free.
* The debt burden on developing countries remains stable at about 3 percent of export revenue.
* The number of internet users in Africa almost doubled in the past four years.
* As of 2015, 95 percent of the world’s population is covered by a mobile-cellular signal.
* 30 percent of the world’s youth are digital natives, active online for at least five years.
* Internet penetration has grown from just over 6 percent of the world’s population in 2000 to 43 percent in 2015.
* But more than four billion people do not use the Internet, and 90 percent of them are from the developing world.
* India has the second highest number of Internet users in the world however, Internet penetration in the country is under 20 percent.


Millennium Development Goals  


Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the MDGs are both global and local, tailored by each country to suit specific development needs. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals, which all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.

India’s achievement in poverty reduction is one of the leading factors in the global action against poverty. The Millennium Project Report states that “with more than 2.3 billion people in these two countries (China and India) alone, their major advances in poverty reduction drive developing world averages.”

India’s Tenth Five-Year Plan (2003-2007) included targets of human development that can be monitored, consistent with, but more ambitious than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2008-2012) proposes state-specific targets. The Government has launched several large programmes with regard to the MDGs. The areas that require redoubled efforts include literacy, nutrition, maternal mortality and child mortality. The responsibility of implementing most of the social sector programmes relating to the Goals lies with the provincial governments.

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, with an annual allocation of $2.5 billion, guarantees 100 days of work to every household. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission has allocated $7 billion over a seven-year period to provide basic services to the urban poor in 63 major cities. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Campaign), launched in the year 2000, is a national programme to make elementary education accessible to all. The National Rural Health Mission is focused on basic health-care delivery systems through a synergistic approach focusing on sanitation, water, nutrition, and health care.

A major task for India is the improvement of service delivery and capacity development, at district and local levels, in order to implement and monitor very large programmes. Social, economic, and political inclusion, decreasing the incidence of violence (gender/caste-based) and reduction of regional disparities require concerted efforts to promote greater access of vulnerable groups (such as women, dalits, tribal groups, and religious minorities) to basic services, including credit and social security, opportunities for decent work, and participation in decision-making. The Eleventh Plan addresses these challenges through a mix of resource allocation, incentives for institutional reform of the delivery system, and public-private partnerships.

Critical policy and plan documents of State Governments, such as Annual Economic Surveys and the Eleventh Five Year Plan, now have human development reporting integrated into them. At the state level, Madhya Pradesh has had a series of Missions on health and education, including iodine deficiency, since the mid-1990s. Since 2006, the government of Maharashtra has focused the Maharashtra Human Development Mission around the MDGs. Its objective is to meet the eight Goals in 12 districts ranking low on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the concept of human development is being increasingly integrated into district planning through district-specific Human Development Reports (HDRs).

The Government of India has identified 250 such districts for which a Backward Regions Grant Fund provides financial support for district planning and programme implementation. At the city level, the Delhi HDR has specified Delhi Development Goals, customizing the MDGs to a purely urban context. At the national level, a concerted effort is being made to implement the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in collaboration with civil society organizations across the country.




Please click here to access [inside]India's MDG scorecard in 2014[/inside] as per the Statistical Year Book 2014, brought out by the MoSPI, GoI. 


Please click here to know about [inside]MDG-5 and Maternal Health in India 2014[/inside].


Please click here to know about [inside]MDG-4 and Child Health in India 2014[/inside].


In order to access the [inside]Status Note prepared by Planning Commission[/inside] on India’s performance vis-à-vis the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), please click here.



According to [inside]Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2008 Estimates[/inside] developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank,


• Five years remain until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted at the 2000 Millennium Summit. There are two targets for assessing progress in improving maternal health (MDG 5): reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by three quarters between 1990 and 2015, and achieving universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

• Maternal mortality ratio means number of maternal deaths during a given time period per 100 000 live births during the same time-period. Maternal mortality rate means number of maternal deaths in a given period per 100 000 women of reproductive age during the same time-period. Adult lifetime risk of maternal death means the probability of dying from a maternal cause during a woman’s reproductive lifespan.

• The fifth MDG aims to improve maternal health with a target of reducing MMR by 75% between 1990 and 2015 – that is, it seeks to achieve a 5.5% annual decline in MMR from 1990. Globally the annual percentage decline in MMR between 1990 and 2008 was only 2.3%. Among countries with an MMR ≥100 in 1990, it is evident that 30 countries have made insufficient or no progress, including 23 from sub-Saharan Africa.

• An estimated 358 000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide in 2008, a 34% decline from the levels of 1990. Despite this decline, developing countries continued to account for 99% (355 000) of the deaths.

• By country, India had the largest number of maternal deaths (63 000), followed by Nigeria (50 000), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (19 000), Afghanistan (18 000), Ethiopia (14 000), Pakistan (14 000), the United Republic of Tanzania (14 000), Bangladesh (12 000), Indonesia (10 000), Sudan (9700), and Kenya (7900). These 11 countries comprised an estimated 65% of the global maternal deaths reported in 2008.

• The estimated MMR (deaths per 100000 live births) for India in 2008 was 230.

• In 2008, the 10 highest MMR countries in sub-Saharan Africa in descending order were: Chad (1200), Somalia (1200), Guinea-Bissau (1000), Liberia (990), Burundi (970), Sierra Leone (970), the Central African Republic (850), Nigeria (840), Mali (830), and Niger (820).

• Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounted for 87% (313 000) of global maternal deaths. Eleven countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United Republic of Tanzania, comprised 65% of all maternal deaths in 2008.

• Overall, it was estimated that there were 42 000 deaths due to HIV/AIDS among pregnant women in 2008. About half of those were assumed to be maternal. The contribution of HIV/AIDS was highest in sub-Saharan Africa where 9% of all maternal deaths were due to HIV/AIDS. Without these deaths, the MMR for sub-Saharan Africa would have been 580 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births instead of 640.

• The MMR in 2008 was highest in developing regions (290) in stark contrast to developed regions (14) and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (40).

• Among developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa had the highest MMR at 640 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in 2008, followed by South Asia (280), Oceania (230), South-Eastern Asia (160), North Africa (92), Latin America and the Caribbean (85), Western Asia (68), and Eastern Asia (41).

• Forty-five countries had high estimated MMR (MMR ≥300) with four countries (Afghanistan, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, and Somalia), having extremely high MMR (MMR ≥1000). Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, the seven countries with high MMR were: Afghanistan (1400), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (580), Nepal (380), Timor-Leste (370), Bangladesh (340), Haiti (300), and Cambodia (290).

• Among developing regions, the adult lifetime risk of maternal death (the probability that a 15-year-old female will die eventually from a maternal cause) is highest in sub-Saharan Africa (at 1 in 31), followed by Oceania (1 in 110) and South Asia (1 in 120), while the developed regions had the smallest lifetime risk (1 in 4300).

• During the period 1990–2008, 147 countries experienced a decline in MMR, 90 of which showed a decline of 40% or more.

• For 2008, there were an estimated 358 000 maternal deaths in the world, or a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 260 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births.

• Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounted for 87% (313 000) of global maternal deaths.

• Overall, it was estimated that there were 42 000 deaths due to HIV/AIDS among pregnant women. Without HIV/AIDS, the MMR for sub-Saharan Africa would have been 580 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births instead of 640.

• The total MMR percentage decline in developing regions was 34%, more than twice that of the developed regions of 13%. Among the developing regions, Eastern Asia had the largest decline, 63%, followed by South-Eastern Asia 57%, South Asia 53%, Asia 52%, Western Asia 52%, Latin America and the Caribbean 41%, sub-Saharan Africa 26%, and Oceania 22%.



[inside]India’s progress towards achieving the MDGs[/inside]

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: Possible to achieve if some changes are made

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education: Possible to achieve if some changes are made

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women: Possible to achieve if some changes are made

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality: Off track

Goal 5: Improve maternal health: Possible to achieve if some changes are made

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases: Insufficient information

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability: Insufficient information

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development: Insufficient information





In the UN Millennium Declaration of September 2000, leaders from 189 nations embraced a vision for the world in which developed and developing countries would work in partnership for the betterment of all. To provide a framework by which progress could be measured, the Declaration was broken down into [inside]8 Millennium Development Goals[/inside], 18 targets and 48 indicators. In 2007, this monitoring framework was revised to include four new targets, agreed to by member states at the 2005 World Summit


Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Targets: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day

Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

In sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, both the number of poor and the poverty rate are expected to increase further in some of the more vulnerable and low-growth economies. Sub-Saharan Africa counted 100 million more extremely poor people in 2005 than in 1990, and the poverty rate remained above 50 per cent (though it had begun to decline after 1999). Globally, the target of reducing the poverty rate by half by 2015 seems likely to be achieved. However, some regions will fall far short, and as many as 1 billion people are likely to remain in extreme poverty by the target date.

Developing regions have seen only minor advances in labour productivity over the last decade, and fall far behind developed regions. Considerable progress has been made in Eastern Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and transition countries of South-Eastern Europe. But productivity remains extremely low in sub-Saharan Africa and has even declined slightly in Oceania. Higher productivity in Eastern Asia was accompanied by a sharp decrease in the share of those classified as the working poor during the same period. A similar situation occurred in the transition countries of South-Eastern Europe, where the share of the working poor declined by almost nine percentage points since 1997, while productivity levels nearly doubled and the proportion of vulnerable employment dropped.

The declining trend in the rate of undernourishment in developing countries since 1990-1992 was reversed in 2008, largely due to escalating food prices. The proportion of people who are undernourished dropped from about 20 per cent in the early 1990s to about 16 per cent in the middle of the following decade. But provisional estimates indicate that it rose by a percentage point in 2008. Rapidly rising food prices caused the proportion of people going hungry in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania to increase in 2008. When China is excluded, the prevalence of hunger also rose in Eastern Asia.


Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Target: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling

Progress is being made towards universal primary education. Still, more than 10 per cent of children of primary-school age are out of school. In the developing world as a whole, enrolment coverage in primary education reached 88 per cent in 2007, up from 83 per cent in 2000. Major breakthroughs have been achieved in sub-Saharan Africa, where enrolment increased by 15 percentage points from 2000 to 2007, and Southern Asia, which gained 11 percentage points over the same period.

The relatively sharp rise in enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, despite rapid population growth, is therefore encouraging. However, global numbers of out-of-school children are dropping too slowly and too unevenly for the target to be reached by 2015.

The number of children of primary school age who are out of school has dropped by 33 million since 1999. Still, 72 million children worldwide were denied the right to education in 2007. Almost half of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Southern Asia, home to 18 million out-of school children. According to partial projections by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, produced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and based on 2006 data, at least 29 million children will still be out of school in 2015.

Unequal opportunities resulting from biases based on gender, ethnicity, income, language or disabilities are common and represent a major obstacle to universal education. Children from poor communities and girls are the most likely to lose out. In some less developed countries, children in the poorest 20 per cent of the population are three times less likely to be enrolled in primary school than children from the wealthiest 20 per cent. In 2007, girls accounted for 54 per cent of the world’s out-of-school population.


Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Target: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015

The world continues to progress towards gender parity in education as measured by the ratio of girls' to boys' gross enrolment. In the developing regions as a whole, 95 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 2007, compared to 91 in 1999. However, the target of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 was missed. Ensuring that the opportunity is not lost again in 2015 will require renewed urgency and commitment

In 2007, only 53 of the 171 countries with available data had achieved gender parity (defined by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics as a girls' to boys' enrolment ratio of between 97 and 103) in both primary and secondary education. That is 14 more countries than in 1999. Still, the fact that over 100 countries have yet to reach the target is a source of concern.

The notable exceptions to a generally improving situation are sub-Saharan Africa, where the ratio of girls' to boys' enrolment in secondary education fell from 82 in 1999 to 79 in 2007; Oceania, where the ratio fell from 89 to 87; and the CIS, where it fell from 101 to 98 over the same period.

The employment situation of women is particularly dismal in Oceania and Southern Asia, where the largest share of women's employment is as contributing family workers - 64 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively. These labourers, also known as unpaid family workers, are family members who freely give their time to family-owned businesses. The large share of unpaid jobs adds to the already heavy burden of unpaid work carried out by women in households in all regions, which is not reflected in official labour force statistics.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that, in December 2008, there were 12.8 per cent more unemployed men and 6.7 per cent more unemployed women in the world than in December 2007. The number of unemployed men increased at a faster rate than the number of unemployed women, especially during the second half of 2008. The 2008 financial crisis and high prices for primary commodities have eroded labour markets around the world. The ILO projects that the global unemployment rate in 2009 could reach between 6.3 per cent and 7.1 per cent, with a corresponding unemployment rate for women ranging from 6.5 to 7.4 per cent (compared to 6.1 to 7.0 per cent for men). This means that an additional 24 million to 52 million people worldwide may be unemployed, of which 10 million to 22 million will be women.

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Target: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

Deaths in children under five have declined steadily worldwide. In 2007, the global under-five mortality rate was 67 deaths per 1,000 live births, down from 93 in 1990. That year, more than 12.6 million young children died from largely preventable or treatable causes; the figure has declined to around 9 million today, despite population growth.

For the developing regions as a whole, the under-five mortality rate dropped from 103 in 1990 to 74 in 2007. Still, many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, have made little or no progress at all. The levels are highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where, in 2007, close to one in seven children died before his or her fifth birthday. Together with high levels of fertility, this has resulted in an increase in the absolute number of under-five deaths-from 4.2 million in 1990 to 4.6 million in 2007. Sub-Saharan Africa now accounts for half of all deaths among children under five.

Routine immunization for measles continues to expand worldwide. Coverage has increased steadily since 2000, reaching 82 per cent of the world's children in 2007, largely due to immunization campaigns and more concentrated efforts in countries with hard-to-reach areas. During this period, measles deaths dropped by an astonishing 74 per cent, with the largest reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, there were an estimated 197,000 measles-related deaths in 2007, down from 750,000 in 2000.


Goal 5: Improve maternal health


Targets: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio

Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health

Every year, 536,000 women and girls die as a result of complications during pregnancy, childbirth or the six weeks following delivery. Almost all of these deaths (99 per cent) occur in developing countries. Maternal mortality is among the health indicators that show the greatest gap between the rich and the poor - both between countries and within them. Developed regions report nine maternal deaths per 100,000 live births compared to 450 maternal deaths in developing regions, where 14 countries have maternal mortality ratios of at least 1,000 per 100,000 live births. Half of all maternal deaths (265,000) occur in sub-Saharan Africa and another third (187,000) in Southern Asia. Together, these two regions account for 85 per cent of all maternal deaths.

The available trend data indicate that there has been little progress in the developing world as a whole-480 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in 1990 compared to 450 deaths in 2005-and that the small decline reflects progress only in some regions. Eastern Asia, Northern Africa, and South-Eastern Asia showed declines of 30 per cent or more between 1990 and 2005. Southern Asia reports a decline of more than 20 per cent over the same period, yet the number of deaths in that region remains unacceptably high. Very little progress has been made in sub-Saharan Africa, where women face the greatest lifetime risk of dying as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.

Since 1995, every region of the developing world has made some progress in improving the availability of skilled health personnel (doctors, nurses or midwives) to assist in deliveries. Overall, the proportion of births attended by skilled health workers in developing regions has increased from 53 per cent in 1990 to 61 per cent in 2007. However, in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, more than half of all births still take place without the assistance of trained personnel.

Since the 1990s, the proportion of pregnant women in the developing world who had at least one antenatal care visit increased from around 64 per cent to 79 per cent. However, a substantially lower proportion of pregnant women receive the standard set of four visits recommended by WHO and UNICEF.

Pregnancy early in life contributes to the estimated 70,000 maternal deaths among girls aged 15 to 19 every year. An infant's risk of dying in his or her first year of life is 60 per cent higher when the mother is under age 18 than when the mother is 18 or older.


Goal 6: Combat HIV/ AIDS, Malaria and other disease

Target: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/ AIDS

Worldwide, the number of people newly infected with HIV peaked in 1996 and has since declined, to 2.7 million in 2007. These positive trends are mostly due to a fall in the annual number of new infections in some countries in Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, infection rates continue to rise in other parts of the world, especially Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In those regions, HIV prevalence has almost doubled since 2001-when the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was signed - and the number of people living with HIV has increased from 630,000 to 1.6 million. The estimated number of AIDS deaths also appears to have peaked in 2005, at 2.2 million, and has since declined to 2 million in 2007. This is partly due to increased access to antiretroviral drugs in poorer countries. Despite an overall decrease in the number of new infections, the number of people living with HIV worldwide continues to grow, largely because people infected with the virus are surviving longer. In 2007, an estimated 33 million people were living with HIV.

Over one third of new HIV infections and 38 per cent of AIDS deaths in 2007 occurred in Southern Africa. Altogether, sub-Saharan Africa is home to 67 per cent of those living with HIV. Women account for half the people living with HIV worldwide and nearly 60 per cent of those infected in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, gender inequities continue to affect women's decision-making and risk-taking behaviour, and vulnerability to HIV infection is often beyond a woman's individual control.

Data from national surveys in 36 countries has led to new evidence that while AIDS and orphanhood pose tremendous challenges to children and families, other factors also have a strong impact on children's well-being.

According to WHO, nearly a million people died of malaria in 2006. Ninety-five per cent of them lived in sub-Saharan Africa, and the vast majority were children under five. Between 190 million and 330 million episodes of malaria occurred that year, with 88 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, 6 per cent in Southern Asia and 3 per cent in South-Eastern Asia.

Globally, there were an estimated 9.3 million new cases of tuberculosis in 2007, up from 9.2 million cases in 2006 and 8.3 million in 2000. Most of the cases in 2007 occurred in Asia (55 per cent) and Africa (31 per cent). Of the 9.3 million new TB cases in 2007, an estimated 1.4 million (15 per cent) were among people who were HIV-positive, most of whom (79 per cent) live in Africa.


Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Targets: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources

Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss

Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

Carbon dioxide emissions contribute to the greenhouse gas effect-a rise in global temperatures that is already having an impact on the planet's people, plants and animals. In 2006, global carbon dioxide emissions continued their upward trend, reaching 29 billion metric tons, an increase of 2.5 per cent from the previous year. Emissions in 2006 were 31 per cent above the 1990 level. Per capita emissions remain highest in the developed regions-about 12 metric tons of CO2 per person per year, compared with about 3 metric tons in the developing regions and 0.8 metric tons in sub-Saharan Africa, the lowest regional value. Emissions per unit of economic output fell by more than 24 per cent in the developed regions and by about 8 per cent in the developing regions. The continued growth of global emissions confirms that combating climate change must remain a priority for the world community. Achieving a substantive breakthrough in the next round of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, slated for December 2009 in Copenhagen, is extremely important in that regard. It will also be important to demonstrate that the world can handle the climate change problem even in the midst of a global economic downturn, and seize new opportunities for ‘green' growth. From 1986 to 2007, the 195 countries that are currently party to the Montreal Protocol have achieved a 97 per cent reduction in the consumption of substances that deplete the Earth's ozone layer. This extraordinary accomplishment is a prime example of both the integration of sustainable development principles into national policy frameworks (MDG 7) and a global partnership for development (MDG 8).

Deforestation continues at an alarming rate of about 13 million hectares per year (roughly equivalent to the land area of Bangladesh). This is partially counterbalanced by forest planting, landscape restoration and the natural expansion of forests, which have significantly reduced the net loss of forest area. Action is being taken to limit the impact of fishing and other human activities on exploited fish populations. Nevertheless, the percentage of depleted, fully exploited or overexploited and recovering fish species has increased from 70 per cent in 1995 to 80 per cent in 2006. To make matters worse, climate change is gradually altering marine and fresh water ecosystems. Despite having the lowest sanitation coverage in 1990, Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have made notable progress. In Southern Asia, the population that uses an improved sanitation facility more than doubled since 1990; in sub-Saharan Africa, it increased by over 80 per cent.In 1990, almost half the urban population in developing regions were living in slums. By 2005, that proportion had been reduced to 36 per cent. Slum conditions are defined as lacking at least one of four basic amenities: clean water, improved sanitation, durable housing and adequate living space.


Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Targets: Address the special needs of the least developed countries, landlocked countries and small-island developing states

Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system

Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt

In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries

In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

At their meeting in April 2009, the leaders of the Group of 20 agreed to provide $50 billion to support social protection, boost trade and safeguard development in low-income countries. They also agreed to provide $6 billion in additional concessional and flexible financing to the poorest countries over the following two to three years. Later that month, the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Development Committee urged all donors not only to accelerate delivery of their commitments, but to consider going beyond them. Failure to fulfil these promises will not only impede further progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, but could jeopardize gains already made.

The situation at hand

  • During the period 1990-2005, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day decreased from 1.8 billion to 1.4 billion. In 2009, an estimated 55 million to 90 million more people will be living in extreme poverty than anticipated before the global economic and financial crisis.

  • The encouraging trend in the eradication of hunger since the early 1990s was reversed in 2008, largely due to higher food prices. The prevalence of hunger in the developing regions is now on the rise, from 16 per cent in 2006 to 17 per cent in 2008.

  • A decrease in international food prices in the second half of 2008 has failed to translate into more affordable food for most people around the world.

  • More than one quarter of children in developing regions are underweight for their age, stunting their prospects for survival, growth and long-term development. Meagre progress on child nutrition from 1990 to 2007 is insufficient to meet the 2015 target, and will likely be eroded by higher food prices and economic turmoil.

The successes so far

  • Those living in extreme poverty in the developing regions accounted for slightly more than a quarter of the developing world's population in 2005, compared to almost half in 1990.

  • Major accomplishments were also made in education. In the developing world as a whole, enrolment in primary education reached 88 per cent in 2007, up from 83 per cent in 2000. And most of the progress was in regions lagging the furthest behind. In sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, enrolment increased by 15 percentage points and 11 percentage points, respectively, from 2000 to 2007.

  • Deaths of children under five declined steadily worldwide -to around 9 million in 2007, down from 12.6 million in 1990, despite population growth. Although child mortality rates remain highest in sub-Saharan Africa, recent survey data show remarkable improvements in key interventions that could yield major breakthroughs for children in that region in the years ahead. Among these interventions are the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to reduce the toll of malaria - a major killer of children. As a result of ‘second chance' immunizations, dramatic progress is also being made in the fight against measles.

  • At the global level, the world came together to achieve a 97 per cent reduction in the consumption of substances that deplete the Earth's protective ozone layer, setting a new precedent for international cooperation.

Source: United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2009,