The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) endorsed by 189 countries in 2000 are an unprecedented global effort to achieve development goals that are identified collectively, achievable, and measurable. Progress can be effectively monitored since there are specific targets for reducing hunger, reducing child and maternal mortality, improving access to clean water, etc.
Globally, substantial progress has been made toward many MDG targets — including cutting in half the proportion of people living in poverty. Every major region of the world made progress. The targets for MDG 1 are to cut in half the proportion of people living with hunger and poverty by December 2015. The poverty target has been met. The hunger target has not, yet it is within reach if all countries are willing to do their part.
Progress against malnutrition has been too slow. Globally, one in four children is stunted. The United States should provide leadership and work within the global community to forge a universal set of global development goals to succeed the MDGs. These goals should include a stand-alone goal to end hunger and achieve food security and good nutrition, and they should advance women’s economic empowerment, community resilience, and effective institutions.