What’s next for hunger and poverty after 2015?

Jodesz Gavilan
With the coming deadline, the next issue is how to sustain the achieved Millennium Development Goals
WHAT'S NEXT? The nearning deadline of the Millennium Development Goals leaves a question on the future of hunger and poverty. Graphic by Mara Mercado

MANILA, Philippines – Hunger and poverty still exist globally despite the nearing expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.

The United Nations, together with Open Working Group (OWG,) proposed the Sustainable Development Goals as answer to the need to further strengthen the fight against problems brought about by poverty and hunger.

The SDGs, also called the Zero Draft, consist of 17 items geared towards universal application by considering the different realities, capacities, and development levels each country is facing.  

The recent list contains goals ranging from ending poverty and attaining gender equality to even addressing the problem of climate change. (Read: In our response to the Arctic, we will be judged by posterity)

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and adequate nutrition for all, and promote sustainable agriculture  
  3. Attain healthy life for all at all ages
  4. Provide equitable and inclusive quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all
  5. Attain gender equality, empower women and girls everywhere
  6. Secure water and sanitation for all for a sustainable world
  7. Ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and reliable modern energy services for all
  8. Promote strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all
  9. Promote sustainable industrialization
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements
  12. Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Promote actions at all levels to address climate change
  14. Attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas
  15. Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss
  16. Achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law, effective and capable institutions  
  17. Strengthen and enhance the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development

Leaders around the world are challenged to coincide their policy-making responsibilities with these goals throughout the 15-year duration before 2030.

Global arena

Unlike the MDGs that focused on developing countries, the SDGs will be put in a global agenda, but still taking into consideration the unique characteristics and situation of each nation.

OWG said in a statement that they “affirm that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions”.

The group also recognized the importance of the development of goals which are rendered useful for establishing actions on sustainable development that are coherent and focused.

Zero Draft was developed as agreed upon during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last June 2012. 

The Philippines is not part of the Asia-Pacific Group of OWG that helped draft the list. 

State of MDGs

The 2013 MDG Report shows that several targets have either already been achieved or are within reach.

From 47% in 1990, the number of people surviving with less than $1.25 a day in developing countries went down to 22% in 2010. Meanwhile, undernourished people decreased to 14% in 2012 from 23% in 1992.

Despite major progress, one in every 8 people still go to bed with an empty stomach.

According to the report, there is also not much progress in the eradication of maternal deaths despite it being preventable. From 1990 to 2010, maternal mortality declined by 47% yet it falls short of the goal of reducing deaths by three quarters.

The United Nations explained that attaining the MDG target requires “accelerated interventions and stronger political backing” for women and children.

Meanwhile, the recent disasters that struck the Philippines were seen as hindrances in achieving MDGs, specifically targets associated with maternal and child welfare. The country even ranked 105th in the latest State of the World’s Mothers’ Index. (READ: PH ranks 105th in state of mother’s index).

The UN is expected to present the full report regarding the MDGs on 2015. The final version of the SDGs will also be unveiled the same year. –Rappler.com 

Ending hunger and eliminating poverty are part of the 17 Global Goals and are important issues #PHVote 2016 aspirants should tackle! How can the Philippines achieve this by 2030? Join the conversation at Rappler’s Innovation +Social Good! Register here.

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.