Brussels, 21 December 2011
Millennium Development Goals: EU gives additional support to 36 countries for tackling major development challenges
The MDG initiative
At the Millennium Summit in 2000, the UN agreed to adopt a list of eight goals of international development that should be achieved by 2015 in order to reduce extreme poverty. Meeting these Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is one of the main objectives of EU development policy, as most recently reflected in the EU's "Agenda for Change", a new communication to refocus EU's aid on fewer sectors and those countries most in need.
While evidence shows that global progress over the past ten years has been relatively good for the goals on poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria, education and gender, many countries are still off-track on some MDGs and regional trends indicate that Sub-Saharan African countries in particular lag much behind other regions.
In September 2010, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, announced at the High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, that the EU would offer an MDG initiative of €1billion to foster progress towards the MDGs. The MDG initiative has been designed around two components, a need-based one, targeting the most off-track MDGs, and a performance-based one, focusing on countries that have shown good performance in implementing aid.
Through the first component, adopted today, the European Union is allocating €700 million to proposals by those countries which aim at accelerating progress on the most off-track MDGs: eradicating hunger, improving maternal health, curbing child mortality and improving access to water and sanitation. All selected proposals are results-oriented, with clear and measurable indicators to demonstrate the benefits of additional funding.
The second, performance-based component is currently in the process of being allocated. It will provide €300 million as a reward to well-performing countries as part of the 10th EDF Mid-term Reviews.
The following table presents the indicative allocations and the targeted MDGs for each of the selected proposals (see list of MDGs at the end of the document for references to the specific goals):
Central African Republic
Congo, Democratic Republic
1.c, 4, 5
1.c, 4, 5
Sao Tome e Principe
1, 4, 5
c.a €700 mio
Examples of actions to be financed under the MDG initiative
MDG 1 – Eradicate hunger
HAITI – EU funding will be used to guarantee an increased and stable agricultural supply, while ensuring better access to food for the poorest households. To achieve these objectives, the EU support will contribute to boosting demand of local agricultural produce, for example by encouraging school canteens to purchase local produce. It will further create food storage facilities and invest in agricultural infrastructure, such as new irrigation systems, to help increase internal production (€20 million).
MOZAMBIQUE – Food security and agricultural development lie at the centre of Mozambique's national poverty reduction strategy. Working in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the EU will contribute to the reduction of chronic food insecurity by supporting and expanding the scope of a number of ongoing programmes which aim at increasing agricultural production and availability of nutritious food. Voucher programmes for the supply of seeds to smallholder farmers and for the distribution of nutritious food to pregnant and lactating women are examples of the actions that will be financed through the MDG initiative. (€67.3 million).
NIGER – Food shortages are a chronic problem in Niger. The population is still recovering from the effects of the 2010 drought crisis and chronic malnutrition threatens tens of thousands of children who lack access to clean water, preventive health care and sufficient quantities of nutrient rich foods. EU aid will contribute to the fight against malnutrition by focusing on capacity-building for prevention and treatment of malnutrition in basic health facilities, while focusing on the most vulnerable parts of the population. (€25 million)
MDG 4 – Reduce child mortality
RWANDA –The World Health Organization (WHO) rates malnutrition as one of the major health problems contributing to child mortality and preventing the physical growth and intellectual development of children. One of the actions supported through additional EU funding is the national "One cup of Milk per Child" programme, a pilot school milk programme aimed at providing milk to children in nursery and primary schools in order to address the country's current problem of severe child malnutrition. (€30 million)
Democratic Republic of Congo - The DRC has one of the highest death rates for children under five years old worldwide. Many children die from diseases that could easily be prevented and treated, such as malaria or respiratory infections. The MDG initiative will help improve access to healthcare for Congolese children. For instance, it will finance investments in existing health centres and hospitals to guarantee conformity to childcare standards and will ensure free healthcare for 20% of the poorest children in the country. (€40 million)
MDG 5 – Improve maternal health
GHANA – Additional funds will be allocated for supporting a national action plan to reduce maternal mortality. In Ghana 14% of deaths of women within the reproductive age are linked to childbirth. EU funding will help national authorities in improving access to emergency obstetric services, increasing the number of healthcare professionals available to assist deliveries and encouraging the use of family planning. (€52 million)
LIBERIA – EU support will contribute to the implementation of a national roadmap to reduce maternal and child mortality. In Liberia, the maternal mortality ratio stands at 994/100,000 live births. The adolescent pregnancy rate in the country is high and in the area of family planning many improvements are needed. EU funds will mainly be used to establish more and better obstetric care facilities and to train healthcare workers. (€32 million)
MDG 7 – Improve access to water and sanitation
GUINEA - The political crisis in Guinea has negatively affected the water sector and urgent actions are now needed to guarantee sustainable access to drinking water. EU aid will focus on the rehabilitation and construction of water supply infrastructure and on the creation of a well-functioning maintenance. (€8.4 million)
SAMOA –The EU will support a new initiative in the water sector to help the poorest households to improve their access to safe water; mainly through rainwater harvesting and improved sanitation facilities. (€ 2.2 million)
The Millennium Development Goals
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
1A: Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day
1B: Achieve Decent Employment for Women, Men, and Young People
1C: Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
2A: By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling, girls and boys
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
3A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rates
4A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
5A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
5B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
6A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
6B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
6C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
7A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources
7B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (for more information see the entry on water supply)
7D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
For more information
IP/11/1563 – Millennium Development Goals: EU gives additional support to 36 countries for tackling hunger, child mortality, maternal health, and access to water