World risks spending $250 billion on simply monitoring UN development goals: report

The number should be reduced from the current 169 targets

Published: Thursday 25 September 2014


A development expert, Morten Jerven, has estimated that the world might end up spending close to $250 billion just to monitor UN development goals for 2030. In a report, Jerven proposes that governments should cut down the number of targets from the current 169 to avoid over-spending.

According to Reuters, world leaders will set new sustainable development objectives—such as improving health and ensuring access to energy—when the current UN Millennium Development Goals end in 2015. These are a set of eight international development goals, including poverty reduction, universal primary education and checking the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria.   

Jerven, who works at the Simon Fraser University in Canada, estimates that each new target would cost $1.5 billion. This could be twice the amount of annual aid donations by developed countries worldwide, says Reuters. Jerven’s report notes that data collection costs are high, even with the help of the Internet and modern technology.

It has got a mixed response. A senior World Bank official, Gabriel Demombynes, disagrees with him. He told Reuters that Jerven’s estimate of $1.5 billion per target over-estimates future needs. Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, on the other hand, believes this is a wake-up call for the United Nations. “The UN should limit targets or risk diverting money from spending on health or fresh water supplies,” he told Reuters.


The millennium development goals report 2014

Millennium Development Goals India country report 2014

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