Development barrier

The eighth millennium development goal will determine the success of the other seven

Published: Friday 15 August 2003

-- Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3: Promote gender equality; empower women

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Goal 6: Combat AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8: develop a global partnership for development

The catch: this goal has no time-bound, quantified indicators to hold actors to account

To achieve this goal, developed countries must provide poor countries more aid, faster debt relief and open their markets to them

In 1970, rich countries pledged 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for global development. But in reality, their official development assistance (ODA) fell from 0.33 per cent to 0.22 per cent between 1990 and 2001

Donor countries need to reduce the amount of tied aid, which restrains efficient allocation of assistance. Tied aid is 25 per cent less effective than untied aid

In 1996, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative was introduced to reduce debt. Of the 19 countries that should have reached sustainable debt levels*, only eight have succeeded so far. Two have returned to unsustainable debt levels

Trade policies are discriminatory. Developed countries pay large subsidies (US $311 billion annually) to their domestic food producers. This depresses world prices, making developing countries' products uncompetitive

In the 1990s, the developing world faced an average tariff of 3.4 per cent on its manufactured goods exported to OECD** countries. In contrast, the latter faced an average tariff only of 0.8 per cent

Achieving all 8 goals will require at least US $50 billion a year over the US $56.5 billion available currently. The need for rich countries to deliver is not a matter of charity but policy

*Net present value of debt to exports 150 per cent
**Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Source: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr et al 2003, Human Development Report 2003, United Nations Development Programme, Oxford University Press, New Delhi

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