Problematic for the 2nd Water-Africa International Conference

In the past four decades, there has been considerable effort by African countries to improve the quality of life of the most disadvantaged of their populations. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted in September 2000 during the Millennium Summit of the United Nations (UN), remain the targets issued by the international community to cut world poverty in half and improve the lives of its poorest members by 2015. Since 2000, various strategies for the MDG have been developed by the UN. In addition to the original initiative there have been the Millennium Campaign in 2002; the Millennium Project; the Millennium Summit; the high level meeting of the MDG in September 2008; the 2010 UN Summit on the MDG; the 2012 meeting of the Think Tank on the delays in implementing the MDG, and numerous initiatives by other organizations within the UN (FAO, IMF, WB, UNDP, IFAD, UNFPA, OMS, etc.). Illustrating the many but inchoate efforts to achieve the MDG, the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) of June 2004, under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), shows that the majority of the countries involved would not achieve most of the MDG targets. Progress, while present, has been slow and uneven. It is clear that while the goal of halving poverty between 1990 and 2015 applied worldwide, there is significant room for improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa where goals such as sanitation, maternal and child mortality rates, access to drinking water, and basic sanitation are concerned.

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