About the goals

The International Development Goals set targets for reductions in poverty, improvements in health and education, and protection of the environment. They distill the experience of many years, expressed in the resolutions of major United Nations conferences. The goals have been adopted by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the members of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, and many other agencies. They found a new expression in the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2000.

The goals measure progress from 1990 and look to what can be accomplished by 2015. Their ambitious targets provide a formidable challenge to the international community.

Looking at the world through the 21 indicators that measure progress toward the goals gives cause for hope and concern. Of the world's 6 billion people, 1.2 billion live on less than $1 a day. About 10 million children under the age of five died in 1999, most from preventable diseases. More than 113 million primary school age children do not attend school-more of them girls than boys. More than 500,000 women die each year during pregnancy and childbirth—unnecessarily. And more than 14 million adolescents give birth each year.

Cause for despair? Or hope? In 1990 there were 1.3 billion living on less than $1 a day. There were more than 11 million deaths among children under five. There were fewer children out of school, but enrollment rates were also lower. So there has been progress, but the progress has been uneven. And many regions and many countries still have a long way to go.


Data Capacity building Achieving the goals Partners Regional progress Home Maternal Mortality Education Reproductive Health Gender Equality Environment Infant and Child Mortality Poverty Latin America and the Caribbean South Asia Europe and Central Africa Sub-Saharan Africa High-Income countries Middle East and North Africa East Asia and the Pacific Home