Delivering and Exceeding the MDGs: Why and how countries can take action at the UN Summit | Millennium Development Goals | Aids

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Delivering and exceeding the MDGS - Why and how countries can take action at the UN Summit - A historic opportunity in 2005. The world’s largest anti-poverty campaign – the Global Call for Action against Poverty (GCAP) – is calling on leaders to make firm commitments at the UN on poverty, peace and security and human rights.
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  Delivering and exceeding the MDGS Why and how countries can take action at the UN Summit    A historic opportunity in 2005  At the UN World Summit in New York on 14-16 September, Heads of State will gather to review the progress made towards the commitments in the United Nations Millennium Declaration. This Declaration covers issues of international peace and security and development, including the internationally agreed development goals (MDGs) and the global partnership required for their achievement. The world’s largest anti-poverty campaign – the Global Call for Action against Poverty (GCAP) – is calling on leaders to make firm commitments at the UN on poverty, peace and security and human rights. GCAP is an alliance of millions of people and organisations united in the belief that 2005 offers an unprecedented opportunity for change. United by the symbol of the white band, we span every culture across the world. The path to failure: broken promises, missed opportunities Five years after the Millennium Development Goals were agreed we are already in serious danger of failing to achieve even them, despite the fact that they set the most minimalist of targets. ã  If we continue as we are it will take many countries 100 years, not ten, to achieve the goals. ã  In 2005 the world will miss the first agreed MDG target of achieving equal numbers of girls as boys in primary school: this target has been missed in over 70 countries. ã  Average life expectancy in Africa is 46 years and falling and the number of people living in extreme poverty has increased by more than 140 million in the last twenty years 1 . ã  A mother dies every minute as a result of problems in pregnancy and childbirth, and the MDG of reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015 will, on current trends, not be met. ã  On current trends and including the commitments made at the G8 in Gleneagles, the G8 countries will only be giving 0.36% of GNI and not until 2010 ã  To reach 0.7% of GNI in 2010, donors must increase their aid not by the $48billion agreed in Gleneagles, but by $170 billion. ã  The world spends $400bn per year on advertising ã  G8 countries between them spent over $600bn on defence in 2004 ã  US cotton subsidies to just 25,000 farmers are three times more than the entire US aid budget for Africa We have the solutions, all we need is the political will Whilst the problems are grave, there are a number of changes that if implemented could substantially cut the rate of people suffering from poverty ã  If rich countries delivered on the commitment they made 35 years ago to allocate 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to aid the MDGs could be met ã  To reach the MGDs by 2015, over 60 countries need their debts cancelled, many more than the 18 who had them cancelled at the G8 summit ã  We need a world trading system that does not force poor countries to open their economies and give up their right to determine their own trade policies. ã  Developed countries must abolish the $1 billion dollars per day paid in subsidies to big agribusiness which make it difficult for poor countries to benefit from trade ã  Developing countries should commit to spending 20% of public budgets on quality social services such as health, education and clean water ã  Developing countries must put in place effective anti-corruption mechanisms and guarantee their citizens civil and political rights 1  UN Statistics Division, Dept of Economic and Social Affairs, http://www.un.org/esa/   Poverty threatens everyone’s security In the twenty-first century, the price of not investing in sustainable development for poor communities will be felt not only in developing countries, but across the world. The existence of extreme poverty heightens the likelihood of conflict and unrest across the globe. The risk of civil war is much higher in low-income countries. New threats to peace and security of rich nations arise from poverty and inequality. Criminal and terrorist networks are more likely to operate where state institutions are weak. And the actions of rich nations do not go un-noted by the rest of the world, which perceives that rich powers intervene militarily when their own security is threatened, but rarely invest in long-term development in accordance with their obligations to ensure the security of rights for all. It is crucial therefore that countries do more to protect the security of all citizens, while making the long-term investments that are necessary to address human rights violations and the poverty that fuels insecurity. At minimum the summit must result in: 1. Clear steps towards not only meeting, but exceeding, the Millennium Development Goals; 2. A commitment towards the shared responsibility to protect all citizens and 3. A clear acknowledgement of the equality of human rights for all. The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals agreed by over 190 governments in 2000 to help eradicate poverty through action by developed and developing countries. They focus on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.   What needs to be done to reach and exceed the MDGs? Written into the MDGs themselves is a commitment in goal 8 to make sure that the poorest countries will have the finance needed to achieve them. Reports released this year, of the UN Millennium Project and the Commission for Africa, have stressed that without immediate and sustained investment by the rich countries poverty will continue to claim millions of lives and the MDGs will not be met. While small steps were taken at the G8 on increasing aid and providing some debt cancellation for some countries, they fell far short of what is needed to stem the tide of death, hunger and disease. Larger steps are needed at the UN Summit. Of course tackling global poverty requires more than money. Poor countries’ prospects are also undermined by unfair trade rules and by violent conflicts. Poor country governments must also fulfil their own commitments to fight poverty, primarily through committing to allocate more of their money to basic services like health and education and by ensuring greater transparency and accountability in their spending. Yet without the additional financing, even those poor countries with the best policies will remain unable to take advantage of global trade opportunities or protect their citizens’ basic rights to life, good health and education. So, financing is vital. More and Better Aid - everyone must give 0.7% Leaders of all rich countries must agree to reach 0.7% of their national income in aid immediately and ensure that this aid reaches the poorest people in the poorest countries. They promised to give this amount in 1970, and 35 years later this promise remains broken. Whilst the G8 committed to increase levels of aid, the quality, quantity and crucially the speed of its delivery falls far short of what is desperately needed. Rich countries spend shamefully little on aid, giving half as much as a proportion of incomes as they did in the 1960s. The MDGs could be met if rich countries delivered on the commitment they made 35 years ago, to allocate 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to aid. But on current trends and  including the commitments made at the G8 in Gleneagles, the G8 countries will only be giving 0.36% of GNI and not until 2010. Other countries not in the G8 must also reach the 0.7% target. A comparison of the aid levels of all these countries is below. Rich countries could afford to spend much more. Alleviating poverty is simply a matter of priorities ã  The G8 countries between them spend 600 billion US dollars annually on defence 2   ã  For the price of just one cruise missile, 100 schools could be built in Africa 3   ã  Japan’s aid budget is currently one-fifth of its spending on agricultural subsidies 4   ã  Current US spending on aid to Sub-Saharan Africa is half of what the US spends on bottled water (estimated 2004 US bottled water sales: $8bn 5 ) ã  Germany’s current spending on aid per person per week is equivalent to the price of a McDonalds cheeseburger  6   ã  One billion US dollars is enough to lift 30 million people out of absolute poverty 7   ã  Five billion US dollars would pay for the education of the 100 million children currently out of school 8   How much more aid is needed In Gleneagles in July, the G8 leaders increased aid to developing countries by $48bn a year by 2010, compared to 2004 levels of $56.6. This will have added an extra $16bn to the global aid budget by 2010 above and beyond current trends. However, the increases will still come too late and fall far short of what the UN estimates is needed. The UN is very clear on what is needed to meet the MDGs: an immediate substantial boost in aid followed by a further steady increase to 0.46% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2010 and 0.7% of GNI by 2015 9 . In US dollars this means an immediate boost of $70bn more aid in 2006 than 2004 levels rising to $90bn more by 2010. Even if reached, the MDGs will only halve poverty. The Global Call for Action against Poverty is demanding that rich countries go further and give 0.7% of their national income as ODA by 2010 at the latest. The G8 countries’ proposed increase of $48bn by 2010 will only equate to an average of 0.36% of their national income by 2010. To reach 0.7% of GNI in 2010 donors should increase their aid not by $48 billion but by $170 billion. In contrast, military spending by rich countries was over $600bn in 2004. HEALTH: Taking health as an example, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that a minimum of $30-40 per person is needed annually to finance a minimum health package, but many poor countr ies invest far less, on average $10 per person, and in some countries, as little as $2 per capita 10 . Achieving the health MDGs will be impossible without a much bigger increase in investment and commitment from developing and donor countries. EDUCATION: In the case of education, while aid to basic education in low income countries increased to $1.7bn in 2003, this still represents only one-fifth of what is needed. For less than $5.5bn more per year, free, 2  http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/archives/001221.php, http://borgenproject.org/Global_Issues.html 3  Calculations by GCE – see school report 4  Japan’s aid spending in 2004 was US$ 8.9bn; its annual spend on agricultural subsidies is US$ 44 bn 5  Mintel, Dec 2004 6  German aid spending per person per day is £0.99; McDonalds cheeseburger 7  Working on $20 billion figure to half the number of people living in extreme poverty taken from WB Global Monitoring Report. Number of people living below dollar a day is 1.2 billion. 8  $1bn is enough to put 20 million children in school. Paying the Price, Oxfam 2005 9  Based on projections of the Millennium Project contained in ‘Investing in Development: a practical plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals’, January 2005. Figures have been adjusted to constant 2004 US dollars to allow comparison. 10  Building Stronger Health Systems Key to Reaching Health Millennium Development Goals, World Health Organisation, 22 August 2005  quality education could be provided for every child 11 . The G8 commitments are nowhere near big enough to meet this need. Aid Levels 12 - How much do the G8 give? How much should they give?   UK France Italy Japan US Canada Germany Across all G8 13  countries  Do they have a target for 0.7? 0.7% by 2013 0.7%  by 2012 0.7% by 2015  No Target  No Target  No Target for 0.7% (but have target of 0.33% by 2010) 0.7% by 2015, but only if supported  by new financing mechanisms What new commitments at the G8 meeting in  July 2005 Reconfirmed commitment made in July 2004 to reach 0.7% by 2013 Reconfirmed commitment made in 2002 to reach 0.7%  by 2012, and announced that 0.5% will be reached by 2007 Reconfirmed commitment to the May 2005 European target of 0.51% by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015 Announced ODA will increase by $10bn over next 5 years, reversing a 5-year decline. Also announced re-allocation of ODA to health initiatives in Africa Reconfirmed HIV/AIDS initiative and Millennium Challenge Account. Announced new malaria initiative.  New resources total approx. $600 million  per year Reconfirmed commitment made in 2002 to double its aid by 2010 from 2001 levels, meaning Canadian aid will reach 0.33% by 2010 Reconfirmed commitment to the May 2005 European target of 0.51% by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015, but only if supported by new financing mechanisms such as plane ticket tax  Amount currently spent on  Aid as % of GNI 0.36 0.42 0.15 0.19 0.16 0.26 0.25 0.24 (average)  Amount spent on  Aid in 2004, US$bn 14 7.8 8.5 2.5 8.9 18.9 2.5 7.5 56.6 (total)  Amount  per citizen  per year (US$) 131 137 43 69 65 79 91 88 (average)  Amount  per citizen  per week (US$) 2.5 2.6 0.83 1.3 1.2 1.5 1.8 1.7 (average) Cost of getting to 0.7% now (US$ billion) 7.3 5.7 9.2 24.5 63.3 4.3 11.4 125.7 (total)  Amount spent on defence (US$bn) 15 49 40 17.5 45.1 420 10 29.7 611.3 11  Missing the Mark, Global Campaign for Education. April 2005. Drawing on data from UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report.   12  All the aid level statistics are taken from the OECD DAC official figures for 2004. 13  Although G8 is used throughout instead of G7, Russia does not give foreign aid, so the countries covered are Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. 14  OECD DAC 15  http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/archives/001221.php, http://borgenproject.org/Global_Issues.html
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