Sub-Saharan Africa to Miss Deadline for Most UN Development Aims

Sub-Saharan African nations will miss the deadline to achieve most of the development targets they aimed to reach by next year, according to the United Nations.

The UN in 2000 established the Millennium Development Goals, a 15-year plan to reduce poverty, lessen hunger, cut child mortality and boost access to health care in poor nations.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only developing region where extreme poverty has risen at a steady pace, the UN said in a report on the MDGs distributed today in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The number of people living on less than $1.25 a day advanced to 414 million in 2010 from 290 million in 1990. Net bilateral aid to Africa fell by 6 percent last year, it said.

“Progress was made in sub-Saharan Africa but population growth, conflict and declines in aid make reaching many MDG targets by 2015 unlikely,” according to a press release accompanying the report.

While the primary school net enrollment rate in the region rose to 78 percent by 2012 from 60 percent in 2000, about 33 million school-age children weren’t attending classes. Armed conflicts are blocking access to education and female learners face “high barriers,” according to the statement.

The proportion of people accessing clean water climbed by 16 percent between 1990 and 2012, while the amount of Africans with improved sanitation facilities increased to 30 percent from 24 percent over the same period.

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