Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Win for Haiti and a Good Week for the World

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My wife and I made a financial contribution to UNICEF because they stated that 100% of the money would go to directly to relief efforts. Recently Caryl M. Stern President & CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF sent me some photos taken last Saturday at the Foyer L'escale Orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It is heartening to see that some good is being done.

What you see here is what's happening all over Haiti. Because of your rapid, decisive response to our appeals, thousands of children are alive today.

Look into their faces. Full of life and hope for a better tomorrow:

© UNICEF/2010/Tidey

UNICEF staff pouring safe drinking water for children.


© UNICEF/2010/Tidey

Children at the Foyer L'escale Orphanage.

They are alive today because UNICEF was there: distributing clean water, providing shelter, protecting children from abuse and exploitation.

This week alone, UNICEF:

  • Launched a campaign to immunize 500,000 children against measles, diphtheria, and tetanus;
  • Provided clean drinking water to over a half a million people daily;
  • Installed latrines, bringing the total of new sanitation facilities to 750; and
  • Delivered personal kits to 50,000 children without parental care.

We are now preparing to face the serious risks and challenges that lie before us in the weeks ahead. And with 40% of the Haitian population under the age of 14, this is a children's emergency. These children need to be found, fed, and kept safe from abuse and exploitation.

But just for today, I wanted to show you the very real impact you're having on the children of Haiti.

From all of us at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, thank you.

Caryl M. Stern

I also added my name and comments to the petition to be delivered to Secretary Geithner and did a post arguing that Progress on Haiti are Lessons for the Millennium Development Goals. The goal was to help Haiti begin to rebuild by lifting the debt of $1 billion it owes to the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and a handful of others by getting others to sign the petition asking Haiti's creditors to act quickly and cancel Haiti's debts.

Now Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director at ONE has sent a thank you and gave us:

Breaking news: The United States Treasury Department has just announced U.S. government support for complete debt cancellation for Haiti and will work with our international partners to ensure that new assistance comes in the form of grants, not debt-incurring loans.

She credits the than more than 200,000 ONE members who supported this effort calling on the U.S. to take this message to G7 finance ministers' summit this weekend.

Your voices and support for Haiti are the reason we're celebrating a victory on debt relief today. This important news from the U.S. government, combined with the grassroots presence Michèle will lend to the Iqaluit meeting, makes me optimistic that we'll be hearing more good news on debt relief for Haiti soon, as its people look to rebuild and live out their motto L'union fait la force (Unity is strength.)

In fact, ONE will be there when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his counterparts in the G7—the very people who sit on the governing boards of the international lending institutions that hold Haiti's $1 billion debt—meet in the far-north Canadian town of Iqaluit this weekend for a G7 finance ministers' summit. Among Iqaluit's 7,000 residents is ONE member Michèle Bertol, and she has graciously agreed to deliver our petition to the host of the summit, Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty.

Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Raymond Joseph, also recorded a video message to thank ONE members.

I am not going to claim any great role is this effort but I will argue the even small efforts by millions working in common purpose across the globe can make a difference. I do believe that the technology of social media whether blogs with small voices like mine or globe spanning tools like twitter have made a significant impact. The point is that we do have the ability to make a difference. We just need to start doing it before the disaster happens.

Social media fills communication gap in Haiti: BBC

Despite the near collapse in landline and cellular communications in Haiti after the earthquake, social media has enabled people to communicate with one another and organize information. Organizations such as Telecoms Sans Frontieres have been able to provide Internet access for relaying maps, communication and disaster information through services such as Twitter and Ushahidi.

In Haiti, Tech Efforts Move From Relief to Recovery | Social Entrepreneurship at Change.org.|

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, all initial attention -- naturally -- focused on immediate relief. Search parties to dig people out of the rubble, and relief workers to set up access to medical treatment, food, water and shelter. But the real process of recovery, which comes next, has far greater implications for a nation's future health and development. That's why it's great to see technology groups that were some of the earliest and most creative responders to Haiti's initial crisis are now shifting gears to focus on recovery, as well.

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