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Africa and the Millennium Development Goals 2007 update

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At the midway point between their adoption in 2000 and the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to achieve any of the Goals. Although there have been major gains in several areas and the Goals remain achievable in most African nations, even the best governed countries on the continent have not been able to make sufficient progress in reducing extreme poverty in its many forms.

POVERTY & HUNGER

While the proportion of people living on one dollar a day or less has declined from 45.9 per cent to 41.1 per cent since 1999, reaching the MDG target of halving the extent of extreme poverty by 2015 requires that the current pace is nearly doubled.

At the same time, despite a high regional population growth rate of 2.3 per cent a year, the rising number of extreme poor has levelled off, increasing only marginally from 296 million in 1999 to 298 million in 2004.

Progress for children has been excruciatingly slow towards the target of halving the extent of hunger, as the proportion of under-fives who are underweight declined by not much more than one tenth between 1990 and 2005, from 33 per cent to 29 per cent.