Today marks 500 days until the target date to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight goals embraced by world leaders and member states at the United Nations in 2000 to galvanize a global effort to alleviate poverty and improve lives around the world. To mark this milestone, the United Nations Foundation, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner to support the UN’s life-saving work, highlighted its continuing commitment to join with the UN to advance progress on the MDGs.
“Global progress doesn’t happen by accident; it happens because of action,” said UN Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin. “The Millennium Development Goals have inspired the world to act and because of what countries and sectors have done together, fewer people live in poverty and millions more people live with the opportunity to build a better life for their children.”
“Over the next 500 days and beyond, the UN Foundation will continue to work with the UN and partners to drive momentum toward the MDGs,” Calvin continued. “This is our obligation and our opportunity. By advancing progress on the MDGs, we can build a strong foundation for the next development agenda and, most importantly, for a better world for all.”
To support the MDGs, the UN Foundation will work with the UN and partners to improve global health, advance sustainable energy, empower girls and women, and more.
Through 2015, the UN Foundation has committed to work for maternal and child health by continuing to fulfill and build on our commitment to the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child movement.
The Foundation, a founding partner of the Measles & Rubella Initiative, will contribute to the efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners of the initiative to reach an additional 60 million children in approximately 25 countries with measles and rubella vaccines by the end of 2015, as part of our 15-year commitment to combating measles;
- We will help provide life-saving vaccines – including more than 2 million polio vaccines between now and the end of 2015 – to children around the world through our Shot@Life campaign, which supports WHO, UNICEF, and other partners.
- We will provide 500,000 anti-malaria bed nets between now and the end of 2015 to protect families in Africa from malaria through our Nothing But Nets campaign, working primarily through UNICEF and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
- We will help deliver vital health information via mobile phones to new and expectant mothers throughout the developing world. Through the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), between now and the end of 2015, we will double our reach to 2.5 million women and their families globally; start programs in two new countries, including Nigeria where 10 percent of the maternal deaths globally occur; and communicate the results of our seminal research to determine health behavior change in Bangladesh and the impact of MAMA’s messages on HIV+ mothers and their babies.
- Through the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the Foundation will help reduce exposure to deadly household air pollution through support for the adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in approximately 7.5 million households.
- We will support the delivery of small-scale, off-grid clean energy services to some 20 million people annually through the 1,750 members of the UN Foundation-led Energy Access Practitioner Network, which includes members from more than 190 countries.
- We will assess the energy needs of 250 rural health clinics that lack reliable access to power in up to five sub-Saharan countries, in conjunction with WHO and UN Women.
- These steps will help address the energy access challenge in support of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
- Through our Girl Up campaign, we will provide at least $3 million to the United Nations, so that girls in developing countries have the chance to go to school, see a doctor, and stay safe from violence.
- To provide greater opportunity for achieving gender equality, we will help identify the best development interventions to empower women economically, based on rigorous research for A Roadmap for Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment, a report from the UN Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation that included involvement from UN Women.
- The Foundation will help improve the availability and use of global data on girls and women. Through Data2X, which has engaged several UN entities, we will form partnerships on key data gaps to better track global development achievements of the MDGs and the post-2015 and sustainable development goals processes.
MDG 500, Building #MDGmomentum
These commitments – and the efforts of multiple UN agencies, nonprofits, governments, and individuals whose work is helping achieve the MDGs – are being highlighted as part of MDG 500, a day-long digital dialogue happening around the world to raise awareness of the progress being made on the MDGs. Through Twitter chats, Google+ hangouts, and other digital events, partners are pushing for continued momentum on the MDGs. Visit MDG500.org to learn more.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.