To be living in Europe and working on development at the moment is something of a schizophrenic existence. On the one hand, European countries are facing austerity, cuts and recession. On the other, supposedly less “developed” countries are experiencing growth, expansion and improvement. It’s a context that makes the discussions about the next set of global development goals very interesting indeed. Where exactly are the problems in the world that our new goals should fix, and what exactly are they?
Twenty years ago, when the last set of development goals was agreed upon in the form of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the answers were a bit clearer. Extreme poverty was the norm in many regions. In Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, more than half of the population lived on less than $1.25 in 1990. Between a quarter and a half of all children in those two regions were underweight, and in Africa only half of all children were in school. ...
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