The Millennium Development Goals, How Realistic Are They?

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

    Abstract

    In its Millennium Declaration of September 2000, the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), to be reached in 2015 through concerted efforts worldwide. According to UN-calculations, the estimated costs in terms of additional development aid of meeting the MDGs in all countries vary from 121 billion US dollars in 2006 to 189 billion US dollars in 2015. The present communication reviews the figures reported. It appears that while Asia is well on track to achieve the goals, essentially through efforts of its own, Africa is lagging behind, albeit that according to detailed survey data on weight-for-length among adults collected in Africa for the US aid agency, rates of undernutrition are about 58 percent of the levels used as a reference by the UN, which are based on assessment of food production. Yet, child undernutrition comes out higher in these surveys. Besides mentioning reservations about the adequacy of these MDG-yardsticks, we consider the cost estimates for Africa as presented in the UN-reports and subsequently assessed in the literature. It appears that these estimates are too low, even if all MDG-funds were concentrated on this continent, essentially because they are set up as shopping lists that are necessarily incomplete and, among others, disregard many of the indirect cost of delivering the goods to the target beneficiaries, including the cost of providing adequate security and avoiding corruption. Nonetheless, recalling how hopeless the situation looked some 30 years ago for China, India, and Bangladesh, where unprecedented numbers have now escaped extreme poverty during the past decade and a half, we submit that over a time horizon of about twice the 15 years of the MDG's and with adequate international support, realization of the MDG-targets should be possible for Africa too. © Springer Science+Business Media, 2006.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)443-466
    Number of pages24
    JournalEconomist
    Volume154
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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    Millennium Development Goals
    United Nations
    Africa
    Costs
    Undernutrition
    Adequacy
    China
    Indirect costs
    Bangladesh
    India
    Food production
    Reservation
    Aid agencies
    Survey data
    Communication
    Development aid
    Time horizon
    Corruption
    Poverty
    Cost estimates

    Cite this

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    title = "The Millennium Development Goals, How Realistic Are They?",
    abstract = "In its Millennium Declaration of September 2000, the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), to be reached in 2015 through concerted efforts worldwide. According to UN-calculations, the estimated costs in terms of additional development aid of meeting the MDGs in all countries vary from 121 billion US dollars in 2006 to 189 billion US dollars in 2015. The present communication reviews the figures reported. It appears that while Asia is well on track to achieve the goals, essentially through efforts of its own, Africa is lagging behind, albeit that according to detailed survey data on weight-for-length among adults collected in Africa for the US aid agency, rates of undernutrition are about 58 percent of the levels used as a reference by the UN, which are based on assessment of food production. Yet, child undernutrition comes out higher in these surveys. Besides mentioning reservations about the adequacy of these MDG-yardsticks, we consider the cost estimates for Africa as presented in the UN-reports and subsequently assessed in the literature. It appears that these estimates are too low, even if all MDG-funds were concentrated on this continent, essentially because they are set up as shopping lists that are necessarily incomplete and, among others, disregard many of the indirect cost of delivering the goods to the target beneficiaries, including the cost of providing adequate security and avoiding corruption. Nonetheless, recalling how hopeless the situation looked some 30 years ago for China, India, and Bangladesh, where unprecedented numbers have now escaped extreme poverty during the past decade and a half, we submit that over a time horizon of about twice the 15 years of the MDG's and with adequate international support, realization of the MDG-targets should be possible for Africa too. {\circledC} Springer Science+Business Media, 2006.",
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    The Millennium Development Goals, How Realistic Are They? / Keyzer, M.A.; van Wesenbeeck, C.F.A.

    In: Economist, Vol. 154, No. 3, 2006, p. 443-466.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

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