Millennium Development Goals

December 13, 2011


Eight Steps Toward Healing a Hurting World

In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established to reduce, by the year 2015, the number of people who live in extreme poverty. Developed by the international community including leaders from 191 countries, the eight goals were endorsed by development institutions and religious bodies, and have galvanized unprecedented energy and effort.

Each goal works toward alleviating poverty and disease by establishing targets that will directly improve people’s lives. 


1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Challenge: One billion people live on less than USD $1 per day. 854 million people are chronically hungry and one child dies from hunger every 5 seconds
  • Target: Cut in half the number of people who live on less than $1 per day. Cut in half the number of hungry people
2. Achieve universal primary education
  • Challenge: Approximately 77 million children do not attend primary school. 
  • Target: Ensure that girls and boys everywhere are able to complete primary school

3. Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Challenge: 96 million young women aged 15-24 in developing countries cannot read or write.
  • Target: Eliminate discrimination against women in education.
4. Reduce child mortality
  • Challenge: 26,000 children under 5 die every day, many from preventable illnesses.
  • Target: Reduce by two-thirds the number of children who die before age 5.
5. Improve maternal health
  • Challenge: Approximately 500,000 women die every year from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Target: Reduce by 75% the number of women who die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • Challenge: One million people die each year from malaria — an easily preventable disease. 14,000 new HIV/AIDS infections are diagnosed every day.
  • Target: Stop the spread of these diseases and see a decline in death rates.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Challenge: 1 billion people — one-fifth of the world’s population— do not have access to clean water within a 15-minute walk from their home.  Forests worldwide are shrinking at an unprecedented rate
  • Target: Cut in half the number of people without access to safe drinking water.  Reverse the loss of natural resources by practicing sustainable development
8. Develop a global partnership for development
  • Challenge: Unfair trade systems, crippling debt and limited access to markets prevent growth and opportunity for all people
  • Target: Improve levels of development assistance, promote good governance, provide access to markets, offer solutions for indebted countries