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Millennium Development Goals Reloaded

Millennium Development Goals Reloaded

A hundred and eighty nine governments signed up to the Millennium Declaration in the Year 2000 as their promise to tackle unjustifiable poverty in developing countries. It’s a promise Caritas will not let them dodge.

The declaration was the springboard for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight highly focused targets to be implemented and achieved by 2015.

In September, Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga brought to world leaders a message from the poor that needs to be listened to urgently or the MDGs will be missed.

The Cardinal was among a select group of civil society representatives at the High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals in New York on 25 September 2008. Read his speech here.

Halfway to 2015, increased aid commitments and historic debt relief have provided schools meals in Ghana, free primary school education in Tanzania, and free basic health care in Zambia.

Aid works. We know this. Yet the glass is half empty. The number of people going hungry is increasing and not decreasing. The number of child deaths is so high it’s impossible to grasp. It is the pain of loosing a son or daughter multiplied by 11 million.  The status quo is system failure.

Caritas wants concrete commitments on reversing cuts in aid from some of the world’s richest countries. Failure to meet the MDGs because of a lack of financing is inexcusable. But the Caritas President wants to see world leaders go beyond past commitments.

Caritas is urging its supporters to take action by writing to the Italian government, the next host of the G8 meeting of rich nations. You can do that and find out more about the MDGs here.

Poor people are bearing the brunt of extreme weather caused by climate change. It is only right for the rich countries that produce most of the pollution destabilising our environment pick up the bill.

The global food crisis has left millions more hungry and highlights the critical needs for reform to the international trade rules that discriminate against developing countries.

Cardinal Rodríguez also urged for aid money to be better spent and that includes donors using the vast network of Church schools, hospitals and community centres and faith based organisations like Caritas as a way to deliver development.

Caritas has been part of campaigns such as the Jubilee Debt Campaign, Make Poverty History, and this year at the World Economic Forum, World Social Forum, the G8, the Accra Aid Effectiveness meeting.

It’s always with the same basic message: millions of people don’t want to see billions of people living in poverty; they want to see action from world leaders, and aren’t going anywhere till they have.

Dodge that.