Today starts the Stand Up Take Action End Poverty Now! 3 day worldwide mobilization. Our Bloggers Unite event Make NOISE to End Poverty Worldwide is taking part online. Right now we have 39 bloggers including myself tapped to do posts over this weekend in anticipation of the UN MDG Summit next week.
There are numerous opportunities to learn about or make known your support for the Millennium Development Goals. For the next 3 days thousands of change-agent organizations across the globe, large and small, will be inspiring millions of people to Make NOISE in support of the Millennium Development Goals. Avaaz had a petition, which I signed, urging world leaders to step up their commitments to end extreme poverty, and save millions of mothers and children.
Millions of pregnant women and children die every year because of malnutrition or inadequate health services. It's shocking, but if our governments meet aid promises to women and children at the poverty summit later this month, it is avoidable.
Ten years ago world leaders committed to drastically reduce the disgraceful number of maternal deaths by 2015, but in fact aid levels remain shamefully low. Now, some governments could be prepared to boost aid for mothers and babies, but they need massive public support to get all governments to step up.
In days our leaders meet in New York. Let's build a global outcry against needless deaths. Sign the petition below to double aid for maternal and child health -- it will be delivered to key government leaders inside the meeting in New York.
There is still the weekend before the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals begins so here is the link to the petition. Right now they are at 152,338 and are trying to reach their target of 175,000.
It has been a mixed bag over the last 10 years since the Millennium Declaration was signed by 189 nations, during which although significant advances have been made to tackle poverty there is still plenty left to do.
-- one-third fewer mothers have died during childbirth due to increased aid and investment in maternal health care. But millions of pregnant mothers are still dying needlessly and every year 9 million children die before their 5th birthday.
There is already a specific mechanism to deliver aid for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, but no similar system exists to support health for mothers and children. Experts feel one of the best ways to have an immediate impact is to ensure that aid is doubled and pooled and coordinated to effectively bring health care to the mothers and children who need it the most.
- Oxfam, "Minimal G8 Maternal Health Initiative sends disturbing message to women and girls":
“The G8 commitment to maternal health is extremely disappointing,” said Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. “Last year in L’Aquila the G8 committed $22 billion over three years for food security. This year when the focus is on women’s health, they can muster only $5 billion over five years, $7.3 billion, if you include the longer list of donors.”
This sends a disturbing message to the women and girls of Africa, Asia and Latin America where nearly 1,000 women die each day in childbirth and in complications related to pregnancy, according to Oxfam.
- The Countdown to 2015 Initiative tracks coverage levels for health interventions proven to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality:
There are only 5 years left to meet the deadline for the MDG targets. Avaaz correctly points out the danger of our leaders using the recession to shirk responsibilities to help the world's poorest. This despite the likely result of losing the progress already made and that helping to poor could in fact according to Joseph Stigliz would help the world's economy not hurt it. It is also in spite of the fact that the Millennium Development Goals are still seen as achievable.UN: Millennium Development Goals still realistic
A new draft declaration on the UN Millennium Development Goals -- which the UN will formally adopt later in the month -- finds that the program's aims are still achievable despite recent setbacks, including the global financial crisis. Though the global depression continues to represent an obstacle to realizing the MDGs, UN officials say that through effective implementation and renewed commitment they can be achieved even in the poorest countries. The Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by the UN in 2000, aim to slash poverty, reduce hunger and improve gender equality worldwide, among other targets. Reuters
Avaaz and others are advocating for an approach agreed to by SciDev.Net which argues that the Next Millennium Development Goals 'should be more holistic'.
"MDGs do address many but not all key development challenges," said Andy Haines, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "This report for the first time really casts an interdisciplinary spotlight on the MDGs, what they will have achieved and where we need to go afterwards."
"The broad picture of MDGs is patchy progress, and not at a pace capable of achieving the goals by 2015," said Jeff Waage, director of the LIDC, who added: "Is this just a matter of effort or are there fundamental problems with the MDGs themselves that will hamper their achievement?"All of this flurry of activity is in anticipation of UN taking up MDGs as 2015 deadline looms.
Governments around the world are looking to forge agreement on a strategy for the last five years before the Millennium Development Goals deadline amid projections that none of the poverty, health or education milestones will be reached. "The final five years of the goals are going to require two things: more money to be spent and better policies," said Peter Yeo, executive director of the Better World Campaign and a vice president of the United Nations Foundation.
Avaaz, a community of almost 6 million people, also makes the point that it has always been the world's citizens that have led the fight against poverty and pushed our leaders to take critical action, and now it is up to us again. I believe that it is an obvious argument that the Web provides the greatest platform for world citizen collaboration.
Our job is to make sure that they don't become complacent by continuing to Make Noise.