New UN projects seek to speed up progress on global antipoverty goals

12 November 2009Ninety new United Nations development projects will be launched over the next three years, a top official said today, to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at slashing a host of social ills, including extreme hunger and poverty, infant and maternal mortality, and lack of access to education and health care – all by 2015. Ninety new United Nations development projects will be launched over the next three years, a top official said today, to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at slashing a host of social ills, including extreme hunger and poverty, infant and maternal mortality, and lack of access to education and health care – all by 2015. “This is an incredible opportunity to think more strategically about how, working together, we can accelerate progress on the MDGs and the other goals which loom large in nations’ development strategies,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark told the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Board in Rome, where a UN summit on food security is to take place next week.“Prior to the recession, we could point to significant progress on a number of the Millennium Development Goals. Now there is well justified concern that hard-won progress towards the MDGs will be reversed. As this Executive Board is only too well aware, that is already the case on the goal to reduce hunger.“In 2007, just before the global food crisis hit, the number of chronically hungry people in developing countries stood at around 850 million. [The UN Food and Agriculture] FAO believes that number will exceed one billion this year.”In Madrid on Tuesday, Miss Clark and Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation Soraya Rodriguez signed a multi-year agreement for close to €400 million for UNDP projects aimed at reducing poverty and tackling climate change, as well as achieving the MDGs and fostering democratic governance, conflict prevention and recovery, and peacebuilding.“This development partnership agreement tells us that Spain is no ordinary donor,” said Miss Clark. “Spain is a country which is a partner in every sense in development. It vigorously participates in debate about the direction of development and about what the multi-lateral agencies should be focusing on, and it adds a tremendous amount of value to us as a partner.”

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