Unexpected Good News
[See update below before ordering champagne] Ban Ki Moon was in Toronto today for the G20 summit, and he briefed reporters on the annual Millennium Development Goals report card. Its pages contain lots to be depressed about, but this ray of light burst forth:
“…despite the financial crisis, the food crisis, the fuel crisis, the world is still making progress on reducing poverty, albeit more slowly. The overall poverty rate is expected to fall to 15 per cent by 2015. That means about 920 million people will be living below the international poverty line. That is half the number in 1990.”
This means that the world is on target to actually meet one of it’s Millennium Development Goals, halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.
Pause for dramatic effect.
I know! I’m stunned, too! So, for the next few minutes why don’t you stop thinking about oil spills and global warming and North Korean nukes and Central Asian land wars, and just marvel at this little gem of great news.
Here’s a link to the report.
UPDATE: Scratch the celebration. The UN Secretary General gave his press conference and stated that despite the financial crisis, the world was still on track to cut extreme poverty in half. The problem? Buried in a footnote on page 74 of the report is this:
The data comes from BEFORE the financial crisis! So we have no idea if the world is still on track to meet this MDG. Cancel the champagne, please.