During the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders agreed to a set of objectives to be met by 2015. These Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were designed to address seemingly intractable development and human security issues. In spite of the global economic recession that began in 2008, the goal of cutting in half the number of people living in extreme poverty has been met ahead of schedule,according to new data from the World Bank.
For the first time since the World Bank started keeping statistics in 1981, poverty fell in every region of the world on a three-year timeframe. In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty fell below 50 percent for the first time. And between 1981 and 2008, poverty fell to just less than a quarter of the developing world’s population from more than half.
Another of the MDGs--cutting in half the number of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015--has also been met according to data jointly reported by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.