Goal 1: Eradicate Hunger and Extreme Poverty



Over the years, we’ve been inundated with the statistics and the pictures of poverty around the world-so much so that many people in both the North and South have come to accept it as an unfortunate but unalterable state of affairs. The truth, however, is that things have changed in recent years. The world today is more prosperous than it ever has been. The technological advances we have seen in recent years have created encouraging new opportunities to improve economies and reduce hunger.


What are the Targets?

Goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

Did you know?

Did you know that in our world today:

  • One third of deaths – some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day – are due to poverty-related causes. That’s 270 million people since 1990, the majority women and children, roughly equal to the population of the US. (Reality of Aid 2004)
  • Every year more than 10 million children die of hunger and preventable diseases – that’s over 30,000 per day and one every 3 seconds.
    (80 Million Lives, 2003 / Bread for the World / UNICEF / World Health Organization)
  • Over 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day with nearly half the world’s population (2.8 billion) living on less than $2 a day. (UN HDR, 2003)
  • 600 million children live in absolute poverty. (SCF, Beat Poverty 2003).
  • The three richest people in the world control more wealth than all 600 million people living in the world’s poorest countries. (Source:ChristianAid)
  • Income per person in the poorest countries in Africa has fallen by a quarter in the last 20 years.(Source:ChristianAid)
  • 800 million people go to bed hungry every day. (Source:FAO)
  • Every year nearly 11million children die before their fifth birthday. (Source:UNICEF)

Reports website and other documents related to Goal 1

How to Make Poverty History. The central role of local organizationsin meeting the MDGs – With a particular focus on the Millennium Development Goals Funds, this book highlights the fact that local institutions matter to development. Read the full document here.

Paying the Price – Oxfam International has released a new Report on financing for development entitled “Paying the Price.”Failure to meet the Millennium Development Goals will cost milions of lives. Oxfam estimates, for example, that 45 million more children will die between now and 2015 than would be the case if the world met the goal to reduce child mortality. Yet today, rich nations collectively spend half the amount on international aid that they spent in the early 1960s (as a proportion of their national income), and only 40% of that money reaches recipient countries. The Report, a print copy of which will be available in January 2005, is downloadable: In English; in Spanish and in French.


Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Acheive the Millennium Development Goals – A report of the Millennium Project’s 10 task forces focusing on achieving the MDGs under the overall premise that a global partnership is suitable for an interconnected world.“Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals presents the integrated findings and recommendations of the UN Millennium Project. The report was published in January 2005. To download the report, go to the Millennium Project’s website.


UNDP Human Development Report on Millennium Development Goals: A compact among nations to end poverty 2003 – The UNDP report analyzes the root causes of failed development and the need for economic reforms, strong governance and social justice for sustainable human development. To download the report, go to UNDP’s website.


Poverty in South Asia 2003 Civil Society Perspectives – Report analyzing poverty in South Asia in 21st century, highlighting the negative effects of globalization, privatization and trade liberalization. To read the report, visit the South Asia Alliance on Poverty Eradication website.


Promoting the MDGs in Asia and the Pacific 2003 – The report outlines progress on MDGs in Asia and Pacific and highlights the differences in achievement in various countries in the region. Read the report, published by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific UNDP 2003.


Meeting the Millennium Poverty Reduction Targets in Latin America and the Caribbean 2002 – Report examines the conditions in which 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries would be able to meet the poverty reduction target as outlined in the Millennium Declaration and whether these countries will succeed in halving its extreme poverty rate as of 1999 by 2015. Published by the UNDP/Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean/Instituto de Pesquisa Economica Aplicada. Download the report here.


A Fair Globalization Creating Opportunities for All 2004 – Analyzes the impact of globalization on trade and global governance–current systems of globalization at international and national levels have not realized the potentials of globalization in terms of growing connectivity and productive capacity. Visit the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization/International Labour Organization (ILO) website to read the report.

Efficiency in Reaching the Millennium Development Goals 2003 – The four papers in this book, published by the World Bank analyze country level efficiency in improving health, education and GDP indicators. Download the papers here.


Inheriting the World–The Atlas of Children’s Health and the Environment 2004 – Published by the World Health Organization (WHO) this report highlights the right of children to live in a health and supportive environment that encourages growth and development and protects from disease. To order a copy, please go to this page.