Millennium Development Goals

Development Targets Ride on Vitamins

One hundred and ninety million – that’s more than the populations of Germany, France and Poland combined. It is also the number of children affected by vitamin A deficiency around the world.

Pakistan Attacks Pneumonia With Free Vaccine

Medical practitioners at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), a leading government-run children’s hospital in Karachi, hope that this will be the last winter they have to treat a stream of children suffering from pneumonia.

Fixing the ‘Silent’ Sanitation Crisis

Organisers of this year’s World Toilet Day, which falls on Nov. 19, are using the slogan ‘I give a shit – do you?’ to break the silence around the crucial issue of sanitation and remind the international community that 2.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to clean and private toilets.

Family Planning Skips Millions in Pakistan

Thirty-year-old Shahida Saleem, who was not educated past the tenth grade, is a mother of two, living with her family in Karachi. Six months ago she suffered a miscarriage and her doctor, concerned about her anaemic condition, advised her to space out her next pregnancy by taking contraceptives.

Participants on the first day of the Fifth Session on the Conference of States Parties to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, hosted by the U.N. Sep. 12-14, 2012. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Involuntary Sterilisation Threatens Rights of Disabled Women

In 1996, Maria Mamerita Mestanza Chavez, a 33-year-old Peruvian mother of seven, was threatened with imprisonment if she did not comply with the government policy of undergoing sterilisation. After suffering post-operative complications for which she was refused treatment, Chavez died nine days later.

Burkina Faso’s VIPs – Very Important People Championing Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines

For far too many households in Burkina Faso, going to the toilet means heading for the bush. The Burkinabè government has launched a new campaign to change this, calling on prominent personalities as both sponsors and champions.

From the Field to the Rubbish Heap

Agriculture provides a livelihood to the majority of the population in Papua New Guinea, a developing island nation of approximately seven million in the south west Pacific.  However, the loss and waste of an estimated half of all fresh produce between harvesting and marketing is threatening improvements to food security and local incomes.

The Kakonko Health Centre in rural Tanzania is now equipped to perform surgeries, including caesarean sections. Credit: Erick Kabendera/IPS

Operating in Rural Tanzania “To Save a Life”

At the Kakonko Health Centre, about 250 kilometres from the nearest hospital in Kigoma Region, Western Tanzania, assistant medical officer Abdu Mapinduzi prepares to operate on Joanitha, a young pregnant mother.

Eco-Villages Breathe New Life Into Rural Senegal

Eighty-odd kilometres outside Dakar, the Senegalese capital, solar power and an irrigation scheme are transforming a traditional village into what the government hopes will be a model for the future of the countryside.

Technology Bolsters Cooperatives’ Chances of Success

The success of cooperatives, values-based associations owned and managed by their own clients and hailed as an alternative business model, is highly dependent on their use of information and communications technologies (ICTs), experts say.

New Set of Sustainable Development Goals Looks Beyond 2015*

When world leaders from over 100 countries wind up their three-day Rio+20 summit in Brazil next week, they will leave behind the shattered remains of a slew of proposals that never got off the ground.

Urban Settlers Battle Evictions

Informal settlers on prime land in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, are now living under tarpaulin shelters amid the debris of their homes after two attempted evictions to make way for a luxury waterfront development. Undefeated, residents are now preparing a court case to challenge the legality of a lease issued to a commercial developer on land designated as a National Park.

Conference Reaffirms Reproductive Rights

While much of the world is facing a global financial crisis, made worse by government cuts in social spending, members of parliament meeting here Wednesday agreed the economic crunch is no reason for governments to relax their commitment to women’s reproductive rights and health, made 18 years ago.

Bangladesh Set to Take the Reins at Rio+20

Experts believe that the upcoming United Nations Earth Summit, Rio+ 20, scheduled to take place in Brazil from Jun.20-22, could be a real opportunity for Bangladesh to negotiate a road to sustainable development.

Queueing up for arsenic-free water in Bangladesh. Credit: NGO Forum

Caught Between Diarrhoea Bugs and Arsenic

Achieving the Millennium Development Goal of providing access to safe drinking water for its 160 million people by 2015 is a tough call for Bangladesh, which is caught between arsenic contaminated groundwater and diarrhoea-causing microbes in its ponds and rivers.

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