Last weekend (Sept 25th-27th 2015) global leaders met in New York for the UN Sustainable Development Summit to commit to a new global development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  In this blog we look back at some of the world-wide development achievements during the 15 year lifespan of the MDGs and how Aidlink has contributed to positive global change.

Nurse Elizabeth weighing baby at St. Monicas

Though a huge amount of work must still be done to end global poverty, some astounding improvements have been achieved over the last number of years, thanks to a gigantic network of governmental, non-governmental and civil society actors. The energy, compassion, hard work, generosity and commitment of the Aidlink family; including our partner organisations, our supporters, our funders and the communities that we work with, have also played their part in contributing to these global achievements.

Here’s a quick look back at the Millennium Development Goals, the achievements to date, and how Aidlink has contributed:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger 

Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015. Most progress has occurred since 2000.

Aidlink works closely with our 6 local partners in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana to deliver community-led, integrated development programmes- meeting basic needs such as water and sanitation, food security, health care and education. Aidlink programmes empower individuals and lift communities out of poverty.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

The number of out-of-school children of primary school age worldwide has fallen by almost half, to an estimated 57 million in 2015, down from 100 million in 2000.

One of the key Aidlink interventions in primary education is the improvement of water and sanitation facilities in hundreds of rural primary schools. In Kibaale Uganda, Aidlink and our partner EMESCO construct latrines, water tanks, and hand washing facilities- making school a safer and healthier place for children and increasing enrolment rates.

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Many more girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago. The developing regions as a whole have achieved the target to eliminate gender disparity in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Working on programmes to end FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), discourage early marriage and to make school facilities more “Girl Friendly” for menstrual health management, Aidlink and our partner the Girl Child Network are committed to making education a reality for all girls in Kajiado County, Kenya.

 Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

In sub-Saharan Africa, the annual rate of reduction of under-five mortality was over five times faster during 2005–2013 than it was during 1990–1995.

Aidlink and our partner Caritas MADDO train and equip Village Health Teams (VHTs) in Masaka District, Uganda. Improved access to community based health care and health education leads to a reduction in illnesses such diarrhoeal disease -the second leading cause of death in children under five years old.

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Since 1990, the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 45 per cent worldwide, and most of the reduction has occurred since 2000.

Aidlink and our partner organisation the Diocese of Lodwar operate maternal health services in Turkana County, Kenya. The programme ensures that more and more mothers deliver their babies in clinics as opposed to in the home, significantly reducing the risk of maternal death.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Between 2000 and 2013, tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment interventions saved an estimated 37 million lives. The tuberculosis mortality rate fell by 45 per cent and the prevalence rate by 41 per cent between 1990 and 2013.

Together with the Diocese of Lodwar in Turkana, Aidlink’s post-natal health care programmes see the vaccination of thousands of babies every year, protecting them against diseases.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

In 2015, 91 per cent of the global population is using an improved drinking water source, compared to 76 per cent in 1990.

In Uganda, Aidlink and our partner VAD construct wells and water jars in rural communities, bringing clean and safe drinking water to thousands of men, women and children.   

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Official development assistance from developed countries increased by 66 per cent in real terms between 2000 and 2014, reaching $135.2 billion.

Working in partnership with schools throughout Ireland, Aidlink’s development education programmes  foster a caring, compassionate and active citizenship, committed to international development assistance.

Read the full 2015 Millennium Development Report here-