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Press release

Report for MDG Summit highlights successes and gaps for children and women in progress towards MDG achievements

NEW YORK, 16 March 2010 - With only five years left until the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the UN Secretary-General has today released a report on progress made towards the achievement of the MDGs, called Keeping the Promise.

The report highlights both significant improvements and shortfalls in global efforts to meet these goals and improve the lives of children and women around the world.

Successes have occured in some of the poorest countries and regions, showing what can be achieved, but progress remains uneven. Far too many children and women are still suffering from the effects of poverty, hunger, preventable diseases and lack of access to clean water and sanitation, adequate health care and schooling.

While the annual number of under-five deaths has fallen from around 12.5 million in 1990 to less than 9 million in 2008, maternal mortality rates in many developing countries have only declined marginally and a large percentage of all births in the developing world are still not attended by skilled health workers.

There has been considerable progress towards the aim of halving the proportion of people without access to clean water. However, the number of people with access to improved sanitation only increased by 8 per cent between 1990 and 2006.

There has been remarkable progress towards universal primary education in the past 10 years. The report states that enrollment in primary schools has increased the fastest in Sub-Sahara Africa, from 58 per cent in 2000 to 74 per cent in 2007.

In many cases, the gender gap in primary school enrollment has been significantly narrowed, but progress towards gender equality in secondary schooling has been slower.

In September world leaders will renew their commitment to build on achievements and close the gaps in achieving the MDGs by 2015 during a UN Summit.


The Secretary-General’s report is available online at www.un.org/millenniumgoals

For more information about UNICEF and the MDGs, please contact:
Janine Kandel, UNICEF Media, New York
Tel + 212 326 7684,

For more information on the Secretary-General’s report, please contact:
Martina Donlon, UN Department of Public Information, New York
Tel +1 212 963 6816,




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