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AlertNet Examines Pakistan's Progress Toward Achieving MDGs

“Progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] remains a challenge for Pakistan,” AlertNet reports, writing, “There is a need to accelerate the efforts to achieve the desired results by 2015.” The news service provides statistics regarding the country’s progress toward some of these goals and writes, “This calls for the federal and provincial governments to take appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures to save these precious lives.” The news service adds, “Furthermore, the federal and provincial governments should prioritize policies and programs on nutrition, vaccination, and health workers and make sufficient budgetary allocations” (Arshad, 5/24).

Opinion Piece, Editorial Address Results From Millennium Villages Project

The Millennium Villages Project (MVP), established in Africa to determine what improvements can be made when programs addressing health, education, agriculture, and other development needs are implemented simultaneously, published its first results in the Lancet on Tuesday. The following opinion piece and editorial address the findings.

Maternal, Child Health Programs Must Reach Poorest Families To Be Successful

“Worldwide, evidence-based interventions are being implemented in an effort to drive down child mortality and there are some signs that they are working,” a Lancet editorial states. “However, few countries are on course to meet the targets set by Millennium Development Goal 4,” the editorial notes. “Most maternal and child health programs do not reach the world’s poorest families; it is believed that efforts to do so cannot be successful, cost effective, and equitable,” it continues, adding, “Yet if interventions could reach these families, overall nutrition and health would improve and the lives of millions of children could be saved.”

Countdown To 2015 Initiative Releases Report Detailing Progress On Maternal, Newborn, Child Health

“Progress on maternal, newborn and child health, in the 75 highest-burden countries, most in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where more than 95 percent of all maternal and child deaths occur, has been laid out in a new 220-page report, ‘Building a Future for Women and Children,’ which is published by the Countdown to 2015 initiative,” a Countdown to 2015 press release reports. “Since 1990, annual maternal deaths have declined by almost one half and the deaths of young children have declined from 12 million to 7.6 million in 2010,” the press release states. It details a number of the key findings from the report and notes that the report’s release “coincides with a two-day [Child Survival Call to Action] forum to chart a course toward the end of preventable child deaths, taking place June 14-15 in Washington, D.C.” (6/13).

Gates Foundation 2009 Annual Report Released

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday released its 2009 annual report (.pdf) highlighting some of the foundation’s work over the last year, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports (Holtzman, 9/7).

Hunger Costs Developing Nations $450B Per Year, Report Says

“Reduced worker productivity, poor health and lost education caused by malnourishment” is costing poor nations $450 billion a year, according to a report by the aid agency ActionAid, Agence France-Presse reports (9/13).

Guardian Launches Global Development Website

The Guardian on Tuesday launched a new website that will cover global development issues, such as hunger and infant mortality, according to an introductory note on the site (Bunting, 9/14).