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‘Striking Improvements’ Toward MDG Targets, Progress Is Unequal, WHO Report Says

The WHO’s annual health statistics report, released Monday, found that global efforts aimed at achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets have led to “striking improvements” among goals related to child health, maternal mortality, malaria and HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. But the “results mask inequalities between countries, and some nations’ progress had been slowed by conflict, poor governance or humanitarian and economic crises,” the news service writes (Kelland, 5/10).

Recent Releases In Global Health

WHO Bulletin Editorial Reflects On Health-Related MDGs Progress, Challenges After highlighting successes and failures of efforts to reach the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an editorial appearing in the WHO Bulletin reflects, “[t]he variable progress achieved begs the question of the feasibility of the MDG goals and targets. … The MDGs…

U.N. Development Program Head Begins Four-Country Tour Of Africa To Promote MDGs

Over the weekend, U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark began a four-country tour of Africa “to highlight progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the run up to a Summit in September,” Tanzania Daily News/allAfrica.com reports. Clark will make stops in Tanzania, Mali, Burkina Faso and South Africa, where she will “meet with Heads of State and Ministers, as well as touch base with women leaders and members of civil society, and visit development projects,” the news service writes.

Lake Sworn In As UNICEF Executive Director

Anthony Lake, who “has been a foreign policy advisor to several Democratic U.S. presidents and presidential candidates,” has officially become the executive director of UNICEF, Agence France-Presse reports (5/2). Lake was sworn into office Monday by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. headquarters in New York, according to a UNICEF article (5/3).

While Global Adult Mortality Rates Drop, Gaps Between Countries Grow, Lancet Study Finds

“The global mortality rate for adults [ages 15-59] has fallen by about 1 percent a year for the past 40 years, with women making greater gains than men and huge differences opening up between countries and regions over that period, according to a new study” published online Friday in the journal Lancet, the Washington Post reports, noting the study offers “the most detailed nation-by-nation trends in adult mortality” to date.

World Bank-IMF Report Tracks Impact Of Global Economic Downturn On MDGs

Though the global economic crisis has slowed the pace of efforts to reduce poverty in developing countries, the countries remain “on track” to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve extreme poverty by 2015, a World Bank Group and IMF report says.

Water, Sanitation Funding Decline As Share Of Overall Development Aid, WHO Report Finds

“Even as the world’s deadline for the achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) approaches in 2015, countries are not making water and sanitation a priority, which in turn impacts other developmental goals like health and education,” according to a WHO report released Wednesday, Press Trust International/Business Standard reports (4/22).