Monday, June 18, 2007


On Thursday we see the shortest day. In the north of course it's longest day. This years solstice also heralds half time for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In 2000 the UN agreed that a range of sustainable development goals would be reached by 2015. Areas like health, education, and the environment were targeted for improvement.

Are we on track? The odds are very long indeed according to these World Bank charts.

A few weeks back the G8 met and discussed how to commit to committing to earlier commitments. They "reaffirmed their commitment to continue to scale up their efforts towards... the Millennium Development Goals".

"Their commitment" is commonly judged in dollars and pressured by the likes of Make Poverty History and the Point Seven campaign.

Last year saw official development assistance from OECD countries fall by 5%. Considering the fact that nearly 20% of ODA was debt relief it's appalling.

The happy story is that although New Zealand ODA last year was the same as for 2005, this years budget gave a 21% increase.

As you haul yourself past the depths of winter later this week, consider your contribution to the other half of people on our planet who live on under $2 per day.

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