As the Millennium Development Goals come to an end this year, a new report card has highlighted the success of the goals in alleviating poverty and improving the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people – including those living with disability.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon wrote in his fore word of the report card, “the global mobilisation behind the Millennium Development Goals has produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history”.
“The MDGs helped to lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, to make inroads against hunger, to enable more girls to attend school than ever before and to protect our planet”.
The goals included aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and reducing child mortality. As an example, the MDGs helped reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015.
Disappointingly, the MDGs did not include disability-inclusive development and this has caused disparities. This has now been recognised in the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and more targeted efforts will make sure people with disabilities are not forgotten.The (SDGs) are set to be confirmed in September, and will build on the achievements and shortfalls of the MDGs.
Unlike the MDGs, the proposed SDGs will include disability in many targets; this is an enormous step towards achieving disability-inclusive development globally and is something that everyone at CBM is thrilled to see.
The inspirational goals set out by the SDGs can only be achieved if all global leaders work together.
At a time when Australia’s foreign aid budget has been cut to its lowest level since aid funding began, it is more important than ever for Australia’s government to commit to doing its part to make the SDGs a reality.
This is why we all need to stand up and fight for Australian Aid. It plays an essential role in ensuring the SDGs are met – creating a just and equal world for all.