World Bank: Targets on poverty and access to water have been reached in Europe, but improvements can still be made
“The developing world’s progress is seriously lagging on global targets related to food and nutrition, with rates of child and maternal mortality still unacceptably high,” according to the latest Global Monitoring Report (GMR), released by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2012.
A positive progress across some MDGs, with a focus in reducing extreme poverty and providing access to safe drinking water has been already achieved, informs the GMR 2012: Food Prices, Nutrition and the Millennium Development Goals report. The same document shows that the ratio of girls to boys in schools is within reach.
However, the world is not making significant efforts to reduce mortality rates of mothers and their children under 5.
“High and volatile food prices do not bode well for attainment of many MDGs, as they erode consumer purchasing power and prevent millions of people from escaping poverty and hunger, besides having long-term adverse impacts on health and education,” Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics said.
The official stated that dealing with food price volatility must be a high priority.
The report provides solutions to the developing countries to more efficiently deal with the food price spikes.
Countries should deploy agricultural policies to encourage farmers to increase production; use social safety nets to improve resilience; strengthen nutritional policies to improve early childhood development; and design trade policies that enhance access to food markets, reduce food price volatility and induce productivity gains, according to the same document.
“The fragile global economy could very well slow developing countries’ progress on human development goals, since the fiscal, debt, and current account positions, particularly of low income countries, have been weakened by the global financial crisis,” said Hugh Bredenkamp, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department.
According to the World Bank, the targets on poverty and access to water have been reached in Europe.
“Universal primary education and gender goals are currently on track. Increased efforts must be undertaken with regards to improving maternal health and access to basic sanitation,” according to a press release of the World Bank.