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    Copyright
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    Back Matter
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SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. UGUST 2010




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The bimonthly magazine of Africa Caribbean Pacific & European Union cooperation and relations


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Courier


Editorial Board
Co-chairs
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
www.acp.int

Fokion Fotiadis, Director General of DG Development
European Commission
ec.europa.eu/development/

Core staff
Editor-in-chief
Hegel Goutier

Journalists
Marie-Martine Buckens (Deputy Editor-in-chief)
Debra Percival

Editorial Assistant
Okechukwu Umelo

Production Assistant
Telm Borrs

Contributed to this issue
Mariama Khai Fornah, Anne-Marie Mouradian, Seydou Sarr

Project Manager
Gerda Van Biervliet

Artistic Coordination
Gregorie Desmons

Graphic Conception
Loic Gaume

Public Relations
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

Distribution
Viva Xpress Logistics ww.vxlnet.be

Photo Agency
Reporters ww.reporters.be

Cover
Francis Ngatia, field worker, Kenya.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Editorial ..................... ........ ....... 1


Point of View ...................................... 2


Actors............................................. 4


Debate.................................................. 11


For Young Readers............................... 16


Contact
The Courier
45, Rue de Trves
1040 Brussels
Belgium (EU)
info@acp-eucourier.info
wvww.acp eucourier.info
Tel: +32 2 2345061
Fax: +32 2 280 19 12

Published every two months in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

For information on subscription,
Go to our website www.acp-eucourier.info or contact info@acp-eucourier.info

Publisher responsible
Hegel Goutier

Consortium
Gopa-Cartermill -Grand Angle -Lai-momo

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official view of the
EC nor of the ACP countries.

The consortium and the editorial staff decline ail responsibility for the articles written by
external contributors.


















Millennium Development Goals


An ethical rendezvous


Goals (MDGs) very quickly
achieved at least one goal by
becoming the UN initiative of
which people worldwide are most aware.
This in itselfhelps the organisation to be
recognized for its desire to deal with the
concerns ofmen and women everywhere
rather than remaining a place for sublime
confrontation between the powerful.
Recent UN secretary generals and Kofi
Annan in particular, have demonstrated
a desire to tackle development issues on
a human scale, including by promoting
development strategies in the face ofmuch
criticism.

Even before the initial assessments ofpro-
gress towards the stated aims, the MDGs
received a chorus of praise identifying
them as a Copernican Revolution in the
global strategy of combating poverty.
On the other hand, they have drawn the
sharpest of criticisms. These criticisms
often don't concern the goals themselves
but the perceived reluctance of economic
actors to take them seriously and the sup-
posed inability of very poor countries to
achieve them, particularly in Africa.

Neither too much honour nor
too much indignity

In addition to the broad criticism that
the practices of controlling the global
economy applied by the powerful are
incompatible with the MDGs and serve
to prevent the poor from acquiring the
essentials with which to rid themselves
of extreme poverty, many specific weak-
nesses have been condemned. Firstly,
the goals are deemed insufficient. An
extreme poverty threshold set at a dollar
a day seems a downgraded target coming
shortly after the United Nations itself
had assessed it at double that amount.
Generally speaking, those who denigrate
the MDGs judge them to be insufficient
and abstract. Someone in the Cameroon
forest could, if need be, do without his


dollar a day if his rights to his environment
were respected and ifhe could continue
to take from it what is needed for food
and shelter. Others see the MDGs as
new instruments in subjecting the poor
countries to the global economy as their
indicators are based on numbers and don't
include the rights ofthe individual and his
participation in the decisions that concern
him, in the absence of which any develop-
ment is illusory. They also stand accused
ofbeing too technocratic to be humanist.

Talk and tools

These are the views ofmany development
NGOs in the developed and developing
world. But for the first time there is a
real difference of opinion among civil
society players. There are just as many in
the developed world as in the developing
countries that welcome the MDGs, see-
ing them as a crucial tool and important
barometer ofprogress, useful for knowing
where we are heading*. Also, if nothing
else, they are "a strong ethical rendez-
vous set by the countries ofthe developed
world", to quote Francisco Hermandez,
secretary general of the Latin America
section of the major NGO Caritas that
helps some of the most destitute people
on the planet. It is no longer words and
promises on the one hand and tools and
means of pressure on the other that are
helping us to take steps along the road to
freeing the world of extreme poverty. It
is the coming together oftalk and tools.
On that, everybody seems agreed.


Hegel Goutier,
Editor in chief


* The EU is one of the staunchest supporters
of the MDGs. European Commissioner for
Development Andris Piebalgs frequently
re-asserts this commitment stating in his
interview with this magazine in May/June
of this year that "Europe must respect its
commitments".


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010














A viewpoint of the ACP Group*

The ACP emphasises shared view with EU on MDGs


Urgent to achieve



progress


Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guyana and President of the ACP Council. ACP secretariat


W ith five years to go before the
agreed 2015 deadline for the
Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs), the
African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
Group will reinvigorate concerted efforts
to address all MDG targets in a compre-
hensive manner. The ACP is particularly
mindful of those countries and targets
most offtrack and shall be paying particu-
lar attention to those communities most
vulnerable and marginalised.

Based on very recent data available,
many ACP countries are not on track to
reach the MDGs by 2015, particularly in
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and in Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) as well as in


countries in situations ofconflict and fragil-
ity. Certain MDG targets such as hunger,
child and maternal mortality and access
to sanitation, are particularly offtrack and
require specific attention and actions.

The ACP countries consider they share
the same concern with the EU on mat-
ters such as the lack of empowerment of
women and girls as well as gender-based
inequalities in terms of access to finan-
cial resources, unequal power relations,
discrimination and stigma, gender ste-
reotypes and violence are deep structural
and cross-cutting challenges holding back
progress in all MDG-related areas. At the
last ACP-EU joint council of Ministers in
Ouagadougou in June 2010 both of the


parties agreed on that as well as on the
fact that the global financial and eco-
nomic crisis, combined with the recent
food and fuel shocks as well as the effects
of climate change, threaten to slow down
future MDG progress and could seriously
undermine past achievements.

The ACP and the EU want to strengthen
national leadership and broad-based
inclusive ownership, notably through
mainstreaming the MDGs into national
and regional development strategies.
Improving data collection and monitor-
ing capacities, are critical to achieve the
MDGs. They also stress the importance
of mobilisation ofdomestic resources for
the provision of public goods, to reinforce
policy ownership and enable the redis-
tribution ofwealth and accountability of
government towards its citizens. There
should also be fair, effective and efficient
tax systems, with adequate policy instru-
ments to overcome tax evasion.

Regional integration and trade are con-
sidered as crucial for attaining signifi-
cant development benefits, by generating
growth, jobs and resources to sustain pro-
gress towards the MDGs. The EU and the
ACP also want to pursue their partnership
in support of ACP regional integration
processes, including through the agree-
ment and implementation of regional Aid
for Trade programmes and to support the
development of a vibrant private sector
and sound business environment in ACP
countries, as for example via the ACP
Investment Facility and the Africa-EU
Infrastructure Trust Fund.

In the joint declaration issued in
Ouagadougou, the ACP and the EU
recalled that Official Development
Assistance (ODA) is an indispensable ele-
ment of a meaningful global development
partnership, and key to leveraging other
financial resources such as foreign invest-
ments, public-private partnerships and
various avenues of private financing.

Through this declaration, the EU remains
committed to its collective target of 0.7
per cent of GNI as ODA by 2015, and
international donors -including new and
emerging partners -are called upon to
increase their ODA efforts to the same
level.

* This text is a communication by the ACP Group.


Courier













MDGs: The shortfall


can and must be met

Interview with Helen Clarke
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme UNDP
former Prime Minister of New Zealand


Hegel Goutier


As head of the UNDP*, Helen
Clarke is scorekeeper of the
MDGs. She remains realis-
tic in light of the slow pace of
achievement of the goals to date. Like
the UN's Secretary General, she is urg-
ing countries to achieve by 2015 not all
the goals but the maximum possible. She
underlines the goal on development aid
in particular: "The shortfall between the
development assistance projected for 2010
and what was promised at the G8 meeting
in Gleneagles in 2005 amounts to around
0.05 per cent ofthe combined 2010 Gross
National Income ofdeveloped countries.
This gap can and must be filled, even in
these challenging times. Some countries
are living up to their commitments, but
others are not."

HG Was the international commu-
nity's commitment to the MDGs in
2000 a seminal moment in global
development policy?

HC I was one of the heads of govern-
ment who came to New York in 2000 to
sign the Millennium Declaration. It was
an historic moment. 189 nations came
together for the first time to agree on a
global commitment to reduce poverty
significantly. The MDGs were then and
still are the most broadly supported com-
prehensive and specific development goals
the world has ever agreed upon.

It is important to remember that for those
living in poverty, the MDGs have never
been just goals or targets. They have
offered a pathway to a better life.

On which MDGs has there been par-
ticularprogress to date?

The world is within reach of a number of
the MDGs at the global level. When large
countries like China and Brazil are on


neien uarK acOresses ine iSn session of ine nign-Level uommiiiee Tor ouin-ouin booperauion.
UN Photo/Evan Schneider


track to reach them that helps lift global
achievement a lot. The poverty reduction
goal is thus within reach, as are the goals
concerning universal primary education,
HIV/AIDS and malaria, and gender par-
ity in education -if we can maintain a
strong focus on them. We also see indi-
vidual countries achieving striking results
-for example, Tanzania has been able to
increase its primary school enrolment rate
by well over ninety per cent since 1991;
South Africa has cut in halfthe proportion
ofpeople without access to clean drinking
water; and poverty rates in Egypt have
fallen by half since 1999.

Because countries around the world,
including some of the poorest, are mak-
ing incredible progress on the MDGs,
we know that they are capable of being
achieved.

Which MDGs do you feel are lagging
behind?

The MDG on which there has been the
least headway to date is that on maternal
health, which aims to reduce the num-
ber of maternal deaths by three quarters
between the 1990 figure and 2015, and
provide universal access to sexual and
reproductive health services.

We also see gaps in the delivery of MDGs
to strengthen the global partnership for
development. The G8 commitment from


the Gleneagles Summit five years ago to
double aid to Africa by 2010 will fall well
short ofthat target.

Have theglobalfinancialpolicies and
agricultural policies any bearing on
attainment of the MDGs?

They certainly do! A fair distribution
of income, assets and opportunities is
important. The current gridlock in the
trade negotiations does nothing for devel-
opment.

Two and a half billion people in the devel-
oping world depend on agriculture for
their living. Farmers need to increase
production and access markets.

This is where we believe Europe's Policy
Coherence for Development comes into its
own. If Europe were able in September to
indicate its intentions on further reform to
the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
to shape a policy more supportive ofthe
world's poor, or give pointers as to how the
Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustain-
able and inclusive growth can generate
opportunities for third countries, it would
signal strong commitment to policy coher-
ence to support development.



* United Nations Development Programme:
http://www.undp.org/mdg/


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010












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ir e


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UN summit to


speed up progress


towards meeting the


Millennium Goals


Anne-Marie Mouradian


European aid is likelyto reach 0.46
per cent ofthe EU's gross domes-
tic product (GDP) by 2010. This
is a long way short ofthe 0.56 per
cent intermediate target set for achiev-
ing the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). The EU is therefore going to
have to step on the accelerator if it is to
honour its pledge, restated on 17 June,
to increase its aid to 0.7 per cent of GDP
by 2015. It will be repeating this commit-
ment at September's UN summit in New
York where, as the world's biggest donor,
it plans to bring its full weight to bear on
the international community to persuade
it to increase its efforts.


Five years to the deadline and results are
mixed. There is progress in the primary
education sector, with schools now acces-
sible to almost 90 per cent ofthe world's
children. But there are also some dramatic
shortfalls, such as in health. To combat
maternal and infant deaths, the goal for
2010 was to have "21 million additional
births attended by skilled health profes-
sionals". We are a long way from that.
Also, according to the report of the UN
Development Programme, 1.2 million
people are still suffering from malnutri-
tion and more than a billion have no access
to decent sanitary facilities.
"Even though the global recession, the
food and energy crises, the challenges
of global warming and natural disasters
have complicated the path to the MDGs,


Courier


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we must keep our promises", stresses the
European Commission, adding that "the
world can no longer create lost genera-
tions". This is the kind of statement that
leaves development NGOs sceptical. They
believe Europe is progressively losing its
international credibility.

The 'world aid champions'

To prove they are serious in their attempts,
Oxfam believes the 27 EU states should
have adopted the proposals of European
Development Commissioner, Andris
Piebalgs. He wanted the Member States
to make the goal of allocating 0.7 per
cent ofGDP to development aid binding,
by laying it down in national legislation.
Belgium is one of the few countries to
have used this mechanism, passing a law
to this effect. This year it looks set to
join the select club of 'world aid cham-
pions' alongside five countries: four EU
members (Denmark, Luxembourg, the
Netherlands, Sweden) plus Norway*.
This is proofthat, despite the crisis, it is


ultimately down to political will. Great
Britain, for its part, clearly increased its
development aid in 2009 while Germany,
Ireland, Austria and Italy reduced it
(http://ec.europa.eu/development/ser-
vices/dev-policy-proposals en.cfm).The
European Council of 17 June invited
Member States that are "clearly lagging
behind" to make the necessary efforts
"through realistic and verifiable actions"
to reach the required aid level by 2015.

While public aid for development
remains fundamental, recourse
to innovative and additional
sources of financing has
become essential

At the September summit, the EU will
appeal to the international community's
collective responsibility. The message?
It will not be easy to achieve the goals
set but the MDGs remain within reach
if all the partners -both donor countries
and developing nations -join forces and


accelerate the pace. It will also repeat
that while public aid for development
remains fundamental, recourse to inno-
vative and additional sources of financ-
ing has become essential. Encouraged by
Germany and France, creating taxes on
financial transactions remains an option.
NGOs see their introduction as a mat-
ter ofurgency. The EU is also set to call
for a strengthening of fiscal capacities of
developing countries and a stepping up of
the fight against the fraud that every year
is estimated to cost them 10 times the aid
provided by the rich countries!** 2015 is
fast approaching. After the Copenhagen
summit on climate change last December,
the anti-poverty summit in September in
New York cannot end in another failure.




* The only countries to have already met or
exceeded the 0.7 per cent of GDP goal.

** European Parliament report March 2010.


The EU aims to make a difference



at the New York summit


A.M.M.




take up the role of chief whip
to encourage the international
community to make up lost
ground on the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). The position it will set
out at the United Nations summit in New
York is outlined in the ambitious twelve-
point action plan adopted at the European
Council in June.

An action plant get back on track

On the one hand, the plan aims to target
fragile, crisis-hit states, whose vulner-
ability presents a significant challenge
in terms of achieving the MDGs and on
the other, the goals most neglected and
behind schedule. In particular, it sets out
new measures to speed up efforts focusing
on gender equality, health, education and
food security. Efforts to combat mater-


nal and infant mortality, which remain
amongst the most mediocre in terms of
performance, will become a top priority
for the EU.

While being the most generous funding
provider, at 49bn the level of EU aid fell
slightly in 2009. The 27 Member States
have been asked to publish their first
national plans prior to the UN Summit in
September. To achieve the 0.7 per cent of
GNI target, the EU will have to contribute
an additional 9bn overall each year until
2015. At the same time, it is understood
that this aid will not be sufficient for the
future. New funding sources are required.

The EU believes the MDGs are
achievable provided the costs
are shared fairly with other aid
providers at the international
level

The plan aims to boost the efficiency
and cost-effectiveness of European aid


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010














through better division of workload
and coordination of the national aid
programmes of the 27 Member States.
The Commission estimates this measure
will enable an annual saving of between
3bn-6bn to be achieved. It also foresees
an increase in the national resources of
developing countries by establishing more
stringent tax regimes and combating tax
evasion. The EU will help countries which
require it by providing them with techni-


cal support and tax experts. In addition to
the action plan, the Commission proposes
means ofencouraging good fiscal govern-
ance in developing countries and obliging
multinational companies operating there
to provide financial and accounting data.

Other points focus on coherence between
other European policies security, trade,
immigration and climate change -and
means of helping countries in the south


to increase their standing with the World
Bank and International Monetary Fund.



The European Commission will publish a
new Eurobarometer survey on 'Europeans
and the MDGs' in September which will be
available for the high level event in New York.
Web link http://ec.europa.eu/publicopinion/
index en.htmb


The Millennium Development Goals


Since the eight Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) were adopted in 2000 at
the United Nations, significant progress
has been made in the fight against pov-
erty. However, this progress has been
very patchy and the economic crisis has
given rise to new threats. Less than five
years from the target date of 2015, there
is still much to do if the goals are to be
achieved.


MDG 1: Halvethe proportion of people
suffering from poverty and hunger.
Since 1990, the number of people living
below the poverty threshold (on less than
$US1.2 a day) has fallen from 1.8 to 1.4
billion. The goal (920 million by 2015)
can still be achieved, but progress is es-
sentially due to improvements in East
Asia. In addition, since the 2008 food
crisis, hunger has increased again and
currently affects a sixth of the world's
population. To reduce its impact, the EU
has launched a special 1l bn programme
from which around 40 vulnerable coun-
tries will benefit. In 2010, it adopted a new
strategy to aid developing countries by
enhancing their food security.

MDG 2: Ensure that ail children world-
wide are able to complete a full course
of primary schooling.
With almost 90 per cent of children receiv-
ing schooling, progress is encouraging.
However, 75 million children still do not
attend school. Thirty-eight million ofthese
are African and the majority are girls.


Various ACP countries have launched
'high-quality primary education for all'
programmes supported by the European
Development Fund.


MDG 3: Eliminate gender inequalities.
Two-thirds of those who are illiterate
worldwide are female. However, the num-
ber of girls in primary education is increas-
ing. It remains lowest in Sub-Saharan
Africa where 10 per cent of girls have
never been to school. While female ac-
cess to the labour market has improved,
it often remains restricted to casual or
unpaid work. Their political representa-
tion is increasing slowly. Women only
occupy 18 per cent of parliamentary seats
worldwide. The EU is funding initiatives
in ail of these fields, including the fight
against sexual violence.

MDG 4: Reduce the under-five mortal-
ity rate by two-thirds
Child mortality has fallen below the 10
million threshold, but remains some way
off the target. Children born in develop-
ing countries are 13 times more at risk
of not reaching their 5th birthday than
those born in industrialized countries.
The EU helps ACP countries to consoli-
date their healthcare systems, to make
primary healthcare more accessible and
to address the serious lack of health-
care professionals. It is one of the main
contributors to the Global Alliance for
Vaccines and Immunisation, which helps
save millions of lives.


MDG 5: Reduce by three quarters the
maternal mortality ratio.
Of ail the goals, this one is still most
shockingly behind schedule. On average,
1,500 women die every day of complica-
tions related to pregnancy and childbirth.
95 per cent of these deaths occur in Africa
or in Asia. "No other mortality ratio is as
large in terms of the disparity between
poor and developed countries as that
of women dying during pregnancy or
childbirth", the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) has revealed. The EU
helps developing countries to increase
the proportion of childbirths assisted by
qualified medical staff and to improve and
increase accessibility to ail sexual health
and reproductive services. In particular, it
supports the African Union's action plan
in this field.


MDG 6: Combat the spread of HIVI
AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Around 33 million people still have HIV.
Malaria continues to kill almost a million
people a year, most ofthem children. In
the regions affected by AIDS infection,
the number of new cases of tuberculo-
sis is on the rise. The EU contributes to
the supply of essential medicines, the
construction of clinics and the training
of healthcare staff. The Europe-Develop-
ing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
plays a key role in developing research
capacities for new medicines and vac-
cines in Africa.


Courier

































































Young women covered in traditional Muslim dress walk home from school in Hargeisa, Somalia.
Reporters / Associated Press


MDG 7: Ensure environmental sus-
tainability.
This involves incorporating sustainable
development into the policies of develop-
ing countries and preventing the exhaus-
tion of their natural resources. The goal
also aims to halve the number of people
without access to safe drinking water
and basic sanitation. In ACP countries,
ACP-EU facilities help to improve peo-
ple's access to clean water and electric-
ity. Despite huge obstacles, the goal for


drinking-water is in the process of being
achieved. By contrast, to attain the basic
sanitation goal, another 1.4 billion people
must have access to toilets and waste
disposal and sewage systems by 2015.


MDG 8: Establish a global development
partnership.
The developed countries have undertaken
to contribute 0.7 per cent of Gross Na-
tional Income (GNI) to development aid.
They are still a long way off this target.


The global development partnership aims
to address the needs of the least devel-
oped countries, landlocked nations and
small island states to improve the poor
countries' access to global markets, to
reduce their debt burden, to provide ac-
cess to affordable essential drugs and to
put new information and communication
technologies (mobile telephony, Internet)
within everyone's reach.


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010



















African, Caribbean Pacific Countries


Progress, albeit slow progress


wiia. nepoi tels rnoi.ions p


The United Nations New York Summit of September 2010, devoted to the Millennium
Development Goals, will be the occasion for the international community to assess
the progress made over the past decade. Five years before the 2015 deadline,
the results are mixed. While there has been real progress in some fields, such
as education, much remains to be done, especially in meeting the goals linked
to health and combating poverty, and in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
countries in particular.


Seydou Sarr*


ST he Millennium Deve-
lopment Goals (MDGs)
are achievable, and
"failure is not accepta-
ble. So little time is left before the 2015
deadline for the MDGs. Much more needs
to be done", declared Ali Treki, President
ofthe UN General Assembly, in New York
in June. He was underlining the interna-
tional organisation's concern just a few
days prior to the publication ofthe 2010
report on the MDGs.

The report, published on 23 June 2010
(www.un.org/millenniumgoals), stresses


the joint efforts made in seeking to reach
the MDGs that have brought satisfactory
results in many fields, including reducing
poverty. "The developing world as a whole
remains on track to achieve the poverty
reduction target by 2015. The overall
poverty rate is still expected to fall by
15 per cent by 2015, which translates to
around 920 million people living under
the international poverty line -half the
number in 1990", states the report.

Another goal for which the UN notes sig-
nificant progress is in primary education.
In this area, sub-Saharan Africa, which
includes most ofthe ACP countries, seems
to have made the most rapid progress,
from 58 per cent attending school in 1999
to 76 per cent in 2008.


In the health field, the indicators are
encouraging according to the report,
with a notable improvement in combating
malaria and AIDS and in measles immu-
nisation. These actions have brought a
drop in infant mortality from 12.6 million
deaths in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008,
according to the report's figures.

Slow progress, especially in
Africa

Despite the major progress recorded,
most of the ACP countries, especially in
Africa, still have a long way to go before
they achieve the goals set in the 2000
Millennium Declaration. In the 2010
African Economic Outlook report (www.
africaneconomicoutlook.org) presented
at the end of May 2010 in Abidjan, Cte
d'Ivoire, the African Development Bank
(AfDB) notes that "The latest global finan-
cial and economic crisis broke the growth
cycle that Africa experienced between
2000 and 2008. This situation, coupled
with other factors, has called into question
these countries' aspirations to achieve the
MDGs". The AfDB also estimates that
"an additional US$50M will be needed
every year for Africa to reach the level of
growth in its Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) essential to achieving the goal of
reducing poverty by one half by 2015".

Despite the undertakings given at the
various summits ofACP leaders on pro-
viding better quality health care at affor-
dable prices, "hundreds ofthousands of
women and girls die every year during
pregnancy or childbirth, and between 10
and 15 million others suffer long illnesses
or handicaps caused by complications
linked to pregnancy, when the means and
the knowledge to save them exist", as UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pointed
out in April when launching an action
plan** for maternal and infant health.
The Secretary General also stressed the
role of women as a motor for progress in
the world's poor societies in the sense that
they look after children, gather crops and
bring cohesion to families and commu-
nities. "Healthy mothers raise healthy
children. And these healthy children will
help build prosperous societies", he poin-
ted out, highlighting the close link in poor
countries between the strengthened role of
women and improvements in living con-
ditions, health and education ofchildren.

More solidarity and more effec-
tive aid

Many developed countries have given
commitments to increase the level of
public aid for development, in accordance


Courier




















with the Accra Agenda for Action adopted
in September 2008, which followed the
Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.
Adopted by OECD member countries
in 2005, this declaration is based on the
principles of developing countries taking
ownership and setting and managing their
own strategies, aid that is aligned with
policies defined by the beneficiary coun-
tries, the harmonisation of the actions
of donor countries, the management of
results and mutual accountability.

The emphasis is placed on the need to
speed up progress towards realising the
MDGs and the fight against poverty while
not forgetting the needs for reconstruc-
tion following armed conflicts or natural
disasters.

To meet the many challenges facing coun-
tries with a fragile economy, they must
no doubt be helped to acquire additional
capacities. Science, technology and inno-
vation are certainly among the strengths
that, more than ever, must be placed at
the heart of development policy.

* Journalist, Infosud Brussels.

** http://www.who.int/pmnch/activities/jointac-
tionplan/en/index.html



Pacific, irregular progress


"There is still a long way to go before the
Pacific region achieves its Millennium
Development Goals," declared Peter
Wise, Fiji's National Planning Minister,
a year ago. Since then, there has been
little change. The Pacific countries will
not achieve ail the MDGs in 2015, the
deadline set by the United Nations.


There are some positive points, none-
theless. The countries of the region
have managed to bring tuberculosis
under control and to reverse trends in
the spread of disease (Goal 6 of the
MDGs). They have also achieved one of
the four targets ofthe 7th MDG (ensuring
environmental sustainability) by creating
biodiversity reserves. However, admitted
Peter Wise, the challenges remain enor-
mous in the fields of combating poverty
and malnutrition, improving maternal
health and access to drinking water.


UN symbol. Reporters


Caribbean perspective:
Data dearth


Trinidad and Tobago (T & T), a Middle
Income Country in the South-Eastern
Caribbean has already surpassed many
of the Millennium Development Goals
(MDG), says Marcia de Castro, Resident
Representative, of the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in the
country. The former government of Patrick
Manning incorporated many ofthe MDGs
in his Vision 2020 to make T & T a devel-
oped country by 2020. However, Marcia
de Castro makes a point that is relevant
to many countries in measuring how far
they have come in achieving the MDGs;
a lack of reliable data.


pressed by donors in Trinidad and Tobago
is assessing just how many people live
below the poverty line and in particular,
those still without access to clean running
water. The European Union's (EU's) 2002
study on the number below the poverty
line estimated this figure to be around
17-20 per cent. Nearly a decade on, it is
still the reference document on poverty
statistics for the country, says Marcia de
Castro. The EU's Charg d'Affaires in T
& T, Stelios Christopoulos, indicates that
ten per cent of Trinbagonians* still have
no access to clean running water. "Data
is power", says Marcia de Castro.


For example, one ofthe big concerns ex- *A national of Trinidad and Tobago


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010

















China, India, Brazil




Africa's vast potential for


the emerging countries


Even though huge social and economic disparities and inequalities remain within
their borders, the so-called emerging countries are today among the leaders in
combating world poverty. Following their strong economic performances of recent
decades, Africa today offers vast potential for China, India and Brazil.


China discovers Africa

China's raw material needs are at the
basis of an accelerated increase in coo-
peration with Africa. In his UN address
in September 2008, the Chinese prime
minister made a series of promises regar-
ding Africa's agriculture sector and food
security. This was in addition to cancelling
interest-free loans to the least developed
countries that expired at the end of 2008
and granting tax exemption on 95 per cent
ofthe products that originate in African
countries. The promises were acted on in
March 2009 with the signing of a series
of agreements between China and the
UN Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) and the granting of a donation of


ah


US$30M over three years to the poorest
countries.

China understands the vast potential
of the African continent as a market for
its manufactured products, textiles and
domestic electrical appliances that are
flooding the continent. China is also
active in major infrastructure works. This
is all a very long way from the Chinese
missionary who arrived with the Little
Red Book to convert the African masses
to the communist ideology. Today the
attraction is economic.

India looks to Africa

Until recently, India had failed to capi-
talise on the presence of its Diaspora
in Africa, principally Kenya and South
Africa. But the strong growth ofpast years


has led to it forging economic relations
with Nigeria, Libya, Sudan and Angola
in particular as a means of diversifying
its energy resource supplies. The India-
Africa summit ofApril 2008 in New Delhi
affirmed this new partnership approach.

India now also offers Africa economic aid
and assistance in combating poverty. In
this it is drawing on the dynamism ofits
private sector, especially a pharmaceutical
sector with cheap generic medicines that
has made it the pharmacy for the develo-
ping countries. Although it denies it, India
is now engaged in genuine competition
with China in winning African markets.

Brazil joins in

Brazil, another emerging country that
does not want to be left out ofthe picture,
has recently launched a charm offensive
aimed at Africa. The many initiatives
promised personally by President Lula,
who has made many trips to the conti-
nent, include the decision to strengthen
the economic partnership between Brazil
and the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS), announced
at a summit in Cape Verde on 3 July.
The two parties pledged to explore new
investment opportunities in the fields
of biofuels and sustainable energy, the
processing of agricultural products and
infrastructure improvements, with the
emphasis on private sector partnership
and the involvement of businessmen.
Central to the summit discussions were
the fight against poverty, food insecurity
and an improved capacity to tackle deve-
lopment problems.


The bund Shanghai; commuters in Mumbai; stock exchange in Sao Paulo. o Reporters


Courier





'g

17


EI Iii


EU States must up their


game to score MDGs


More and better EU aid can score Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), says
the annual report of AidWatch, published by the European Confederation for Relief
and Development NGOs (CONCORD) which represents over 1,600 European Non
Governmental Organisations (NGOs).


Debra Percival


tracking the ups and downs in
both the quality and quality of
Official Development Assistance
(ODA) commitments across the 27 mem-
ber states. Its newly published report,
Penalty Against Poverty, says that EU
member states pledged 49bn, averaging
0.42 per cent of Gross National Income
(GNI) which is lbn less than 2008 levels.

"In Malawi aid is lifting
agricultural production of
smallholders and is bringing
down the spread ofAIDS in
Uganda and Kenya"

Estimates for 2010 put EU aid at 0.46 per
cent of GNI, short of the EU's collective
0.56 per cent target agreed by Member
States back in 2005. "On the amount of
aid, 1 am determined that Member States
agree to prepare concrete and credible
yearly action plans to meet our 2015 target
of 0.7 per cent of GNI. This will be key if
we are to call upon our international part-
ners to match EU's level of ambition", said
EU Development Commissioner Andris


Piebalgs responding to the report.

"Commitments are way offwhat is needed
to keep Europe on track for the MDGs",
Javier Pereira, author of the AidWatch
report, told journalists. He predicts a
shortfall of l Ibn for 2010 or even 19bn
if"inflated" aid is excluded from the figu-
res, drawing attention to the funding of
debt cancellation, student bursaries and
for refugees which boosts figures. Pereira


said that the missed EU target will be
largely due to Italy, Germany and France
failing to fulfil commitments.

"The litmus test ofthe EU's ambitions on
the MDGs will core at the UN Summit
to review the MDGs in September", Elise
Ford, Head of EU Advocacy for Oxfam
International told journalists. She said
political commitment in the EU to increa-
sed ODA had been shown last year in
the aid increases ofBelgium, the United
Kingdom and Slovenia, which upped its
ODA budget by 51M in 2009.

To view the full report see: http://www.concor-
deurope.org

To view the 12 point plan of Commissioner
Piebalgs on MDGs see: http://ec.europa.eu/
development/how/achievingmdgen.cfm


ce between EU development policy and
others, such as trade. CONCORD also
endorses the European Commission's call
for a 'peer review mechanism', whereby
one EU Member State monitors aid deve-
lopment commitments ofa fellow Member
State, including an 'overseer' role for the
European Parliament, and wants Member
States to respect their commitments under
the Paris (2005) and Accra international
agreements on aid effectiveness. CON-
CORD is also pushing fortalksto exclude
EU spending on security and migration
projects from ODA funds.


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010


Action on aid


"In Malawi aid is lifting agricultural produc-
tion of smallholders and is bringing down
the spread of AIDS in Uganda and Ken-
ya", said Hussaini Abdu, Country Director
of ActionAid Nigeria interviewed by The
Courier. Abdu voiced a CONCORD call for
civil society and parliaments in developing
countries to be fully involved in planning
aid and for a financial transaction tax in
the EU. "A tiny tax would raise billions in
the EU-for issues such as poverty relief
and climate change", he said. In the report,
CONCORD also calls for more coheren-



















Europe questioned by UN agencies, NGOs and the European Parliament




More financing needed



The visionary Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be attained if inter-
national actors fail to take a series of measures to unbridle restrictions on devel-
opment. These include fulfilment of commitments on rich countries' development
aid and clamping down on illicit financial transactions and tax evasion. A number
of associations and institutions regret the fact that the European Union (EU) is not
showing sufficient leadership on such issues.


siders the risky financial trans-
actions which led to the global
financial and economic crises
to be a straitjacket stifling the attain-
ment ofthe MDGs. It also regrets that
the international authorities did not look
far enough for other means of financ-
ing that would have allowed the agreed
objectives to be fulfilled. At their plenary
session in June 2010, MEPs adopted a
resolution stipulating that the European
Union must fight for ambitious methods
to ensure the attainment of the MDGs,
including new financial mechanisms such


as a tax on financial transactions. On
the subject of financing of development,
the proposer of the resolution, Michael
Cashman, stood firm when addressing
the gallery: "What I want to see is leader-
ship from the EU, not the minimum set
that they can agree on, but a commitment
to that 0.7 per cent of national income,
a commitment to additional financing."

The other measures advocated by the
European Parliament include a more sub-
stantial easing of poor countries' debts,
a strengthening of the fight against tax
evasion and illicit financial transactions,
and a reduction in taxation on remit-
tances sent back by migrants from poor
countries.


SEuropean Parliament


Africa: at the top ofthe list for
MDGs

The countries which have made the
greatest progress as regards the Millen-
nium Development Goals are the poo-
rest ones, and this group is dominated
by Africa, which numbers 11 countries
out of the top 20. Moreover, half of the
countries on the continent are now in
a position to attain the most important
goal, namely that of reducing poverty
by half. This is the main point made in a
preliminary report compiled by Overseas
Development Institutes (ODI) and the UN
Millennium Campaign and made public
last June at the meeting of the leaders
of the G8 and G20 in Toronto.

Countries of low and average income
have registered progress in terms ofthe
most important development indicators.
For the authors of the study, this fact
provides a refutation of claims that Africa
will miss the boat as regards the MDGs,
and highlights the effectiveness in Africa
of the process of cooperation between
governments and citizens financed by
donor states, which should convince the
latter that the aid provided is indeed a
profitable investment.

The study evaluated 'relative' and 'abso-
lute' progress, the first of which did not
take account of achievements in compa-
rison with 1990, the base year, or 2000,
the yearwhen the MDGswere adopted.
The twenty countries which top the list
in terms of 'absolute' progress are, in
descending order: Benin, Bangladesh,
Mali, Honduras, Ethiopia, Mauritania,
Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, China, Viet-
nam, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Rwanda,
Nepal, Nicaragua, India, Guatemala,
Cambodia, and Togo.

The study also makes it clear that a
country makes ail the more progress
when it enjoys the advantages of a stable
government, a public sector which works
on behalf of citizens, and a significant
level of decentralisation.


Courier














































Timor-Leste farmer carries away crops destroyed by heavy rains. 0 UN Photo/Martine Perret


From another angle, the OECD's view was
expressed bythe director ofthe Development
Assistance Committee, Eckhard Deutscher,
who made the point that "the biggest chal-
lenge the EU's development aspirations are
facingis the lack ofpolicy coherence... Trade,
development, agriculture and environment
policies are simply out of sync with regard
to developing countries."*

The End Poverty 2015 Millennium
Campaign, a UN inter-agency organisa-
tion set up by the former general secretary,


Indigenous and tribal peoples,
neglected by the MDGs

The indicators of M DG achievements are
not designed to take into account groups
such as indigenous or tribal communities.
A study carried out in 2006 by the Interna-
tional Labour Organization (ILO) on a sec-
tion ofthe Baka* population in Cameroon
maintains, togetherwith similar research in
Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala and Nepal,
that it is impossible to evaluate the level of
achievement of M DGs for these peoples.


The study on 'Indigenous and Tribal Peo-
ples and the Millennium Development
Goals' in Cameroon claims that indige-
nous and tribal peoples (ITP) are excluded
from the definition of the objectives, and


Kofi Annan, points out that EU countries
have not respected their commitments
as regards the provision of development
aid amounting to 0.7 per cent of GDP,
and have not changed their commercial
and agricultural policies to a sufficient
extent to render them compatible with
the development needs ofthe countries of
the South. The Campaign also criticises
the subsidies to European farming which
are, moreover, 'unsustainable', as well
as the failure to open up the European
market.


that, worse still, "the strategies for their
implementation even could contribute to
the worsening of the poverty, margina-
lisation and exclusion of which ITP are
victims". The study quotes an assessment
carried out by the UN Inter-Agency Sup-
port Group, according to which "MDGs
are not usually focused on the questions
which are of vital importance for indige-
nous and tribal peoples, that is, land rights,
the management of natural resources,
and participation in the definition of poli-
tical, cultural and human rights, as well as
questions relating to marginalised groups".


The lack of relevance of poverty indicators
is considered to be a clear example of
this. The definitions of poverty in official
reports would seem to be diametrically


The Millennium Campaign does, on
the other hand, express its support for
the European Commission, which pro-
posed measures designed to ensure that
member states complied with the 0.7 per
cent target and a peer review mecha-
nism to guarantee their implementation.
European states have not, however, ful-
filled their obligations in this respect.


* See www.endpoverty2015.org/en/node/803



opposed to those ofthe Baka people. On
one hand, it is defined as a lack of the
material and financial resources required
to satisfy their basic needs, whereas on
the other it is the lack of control over the
forest resources that provide the majority
of their livelihoods, the lack of access to
basic services, and non-representation
at a political level. The measures taken
by the state to increase their purchasing
power, such as new infrastructure or the
creation of designated areas in order to
facilitate economic exchange, which are
then often confiscated by others, often
actually work to the detriment of hunter-
gatherers like the Baka.


* The Baka number 40,000 individuals, and live
within an area of some 75,000 km2.


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010





















































Outdoor class run by the local community for the children of squatters in Negril, Jamaica. 0 UN Photo/Milton Grant




Is primary education



for ail within reach?


A.M.M.


A according to the United Nations'
2010 Report, Millennium
Development Goal No. 2
ensuring primary education for
all is the one which has achieved the best
results. Today, more than 88 per cent of
children in the world receive schooling
(compared to 81 per cent in 1990).

However, there is still a long way to go
to ensure universal provision by 2015.
There are still 75 million children who


do not attend school, including 38 million
Africans, who represent 45 per cent ofthe
world's population of children without
schooling. In spite of efforts to reduce
gender inequality, the majority (55 per
cent) of those left without an education
are young girls. The United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) estimates
that 44 countries, 23 of which are in
Sub-Saharan Africa, have practically no
chance of achieving MDG 2.

However, while the rate of education
is lowest in Africa, it has nevertheless
increased from 58 per cent to 76 per cent


between 1999 and 2008, with incredible
progress in some cases. The improvements
are clearly evident in the countries which
have introduced free primary education.
In Burundi, for example, this decision
has resulted in a threefold increase since
1999 in the number ofchildren receiving
an education, with an attendance rate of
99 per cent in 2008*. In Tanzania, the
number of children enrolled in primary
schools has doubled in four years. Other
countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana,
Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda
and Benin, have also adopted 'education
for ail' programmes with the support of
the European Development Fund (EDF).

A critical shortage of teachers

Teaching quality is still an issue. The
increase in enrolments after the abolition
of fees presents huge challenges. This is
due to the lack of teachers, which has
become critical since most countries
froze civil service recruitment after the
introduction, in the 1990s, of structural
adjustment plans required by the funding
providers. To make up the critical shortfall
ofteachers, communities have attempted
to organise themselves by recruiting and
paying for 'community' school teachers
themselves.

According to forecasts by UNESCO's
Institute for Statistics, 1,159 million
additional positions need to be created
by 2015 in Sub-Saharan Africa, but if
departures (retirement, resignations and
deaths) are also taken into account, the
number of teachers which need to be
recruited rises to more than 2.3 million,
for which the states lack the necessary
financial resources. Kevin Watkins,
UNESCO's Director of the Education
for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report,
has sounded the alarm: "There has been
a worrying decline in international aid
for education." According to the OECD's
figures, the amount of international aid
for primary education in Sub-Saharan
Africa fell from US$1.72bn in 2007 to
US$1.65bn in 2008. "In view of the
increase in primary education enrol-
ments, aid per pupil has fallen by 7 per
cent", said a UNESCO spokesperson.

* Source: United Nations (Millennium Goals):
http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/


Courier
















Sierra Leone acts on


maternal and infant mortality

Government initiative for free health care



Sierra Leone has some of the highest rates in the world for both maternal and
infant mortality. We report from the field on how a new free government health
policy could save the lives of many women and children.



Mariama Khai Fornah


M ariama Limba has benefi-
ted from the new free health
programme in Pujehun,
Southern Sierra Leone. A
resident of the Galiness Perre chiefdom,
she is over fifteen miles away from a referral
hospital. She has just given birth to twins,
both boys. Ail of her previous six babies
were delivered at home with assistance
from a birthing attendant but three died
before their first birthday simply because
at the time, she had no medical health care.

Her new twins were delivered in a hos-
pital. She says she would have lost both
her own life and the lives of her twins
were it not for the new free medical ser-
vice. She was bleeding in her own village
and was rushed to the health centre in
a nearby village. She was then referred
to the government hospital in Pujehun
where she was diagnosed with eclampsia
and admitted for over two months. She
eventually gave birth by a caesarean sec-
tion operation in the hospital.


Sierra Leonean woman and child attend the April launch of the free medical care programme, Princess Christian
Maternity Hospital, Freetown. Associated Press / Reporters


Grim statistics


Mariama is one of the lucky ones.
According to an Amnesty International
2009 report, in Sierra Leone, one in eight
women risk losing their lives during preg-
nancy or childbirth. This is one of the
highest maternal death rates in the world.
Thousands ofwomen bleed to death after
giving birth. Most die in their homes,
some on their way to hospital. Fewer than
half of the deliveries are attended by a
skilled birth attendant and fewer than
one in five deliveries are carried out in
health facilities, Amnesty International's
Secretary General Irene Khan during the
launch ofa campaign to reduce maternal
deaths in Sierra Leone said: "these grim
statistics reveal that maternal deaths are a
human rights emergencyin Sierra Leone".


President Ernest Bai Koroma
has launched a free health
policy catering for pregnant
women, lactating mothers and
children under five

In line with his agenda for change,
President Ernest Bai Koroma launched
on 27 April a free health policy catering
for pregnant women, lactating mothers
and children under five. Medical servi-
ces will be delivered free of charge at the
point of service to ensure a significant
improvement in maternal and child health.

The free health system, encouraged by
the Millennium Development Goals


(MDGs), has started to yield fruit in
Pujehun. Women are now flooding into
the different health centres and govern-
ment hospitals to access the free medi-
cal services. Matron Susan Charles,
in charge of the Pujehun government
hospital, says that before free care was
available, pregnant women did not go
to the hospital due to fear ofthe expen-
ses involved. In January this year, they
received only nine admission cases but
in two months following the launch of
free medical services, cases had risen
to 46. Matron Charles said they now
believe around 95 per cent of pregnant
women are now visiting a health centre
more regularly.


SPECIAL ISSUE N.E. MDGS AUGUST 2010

















'Goal' against maternal and


infant deaths

Very important Millennium Development Goals for young people


n September 2000, the United
Nations (UN) adopted the most
important plan in its history of com-
bating extreme poverty in the world:
the Millennium Development Goals.
The word 'goal' is used in the sense of
an objective but the way it is used in the
language of sport is also very relevant to
the situation.

At the UN, 189 countries, meaning almost
every country in the world, represented
directly by 147 national leaders, adopted
the set ofeight goals aimed at eradicating
extreme poverty by 2015.

Among the eight goals to be achieved, one
ofthe most important is to score a victory
against the deaths of mothers during preg-
nancy or childbirth and of newborns in
the world's poorest countries. For ever
100 women who die in this -'. "1
ofthem are in Africa or Asia 1Ii h
is an intolerable injustice,
hence the goal which aims
to reduce these deaths by
two-thirds. Another goal
concerns young children
who die before the age of
five in poor countries, for
whom the mortality rate is


13 times higher than in rich countries.
Again, this is an intolerable situation. In
this case the goal is to reduce the number
by three-quarters.

In September 2010 world leaders will
be gathering in New York to assess the
results. Just five years remain. Progress
has been significant, but it has occurred
too slowly. The decision made will no
doubt be to speed up the work in order to
achieve as many goals as possible.


Courier











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