Millenium goals on the way

Brazil is well positioned to achieve the Millennium Goals – the eight development objectives that the United Nations member states are supposed to attain till 2015. The federal government just released the fourth annual report detailing the country’s progress and the results are definitely encouraging.

Among its main conclusions (to make this easier on your brain, green indicates good news;  orange, neutral. No item was fully bad, according to the report):

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Around 25.6% of the Brazilian population lived on less than $1 a day in 1990. The target for 2015 is 12.8%, but this number was down to 4.8% in 2008.

In 1996, 4.2% of the children were underweight. The target for 2015 is 2.1%, but the most recent statistics (2006) indicate that  hunger is now affecting 1.8% of this population.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

  • Around 95% of the Brazilian kids between 7 and 14 years old are enrolled in schools.

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

  • For every 100 boys studying, there are 93.8 girls (in primary education) and 133.2 (in secondary education).

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

  • In 1990, there were 53.7 deaths of children under five per thousand babies born alive. In 2008, this number was down to 22.8. The 2015 target is 17.9.

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

  • The maternal mortality ratio in 1990 was 140 deaths per 100 thousand deliveries. In 2007 it was down to 75 (and the 2015 target is still a little far: 35).
  • In 1996, 55% women between 15 and 49 years of age were using some sort of contraception. This number raised to 68% in 2006.

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

  • Brazil registered, in 2007, 17.9 HIV/AIDS cases per 100 thousand people. The number of new cases has been stable since 2000 (but at a level considered high in global terms).
  • The country offers free access to the antiretroviral treatment in public hospitals, which is guaranteed by a 1996 federal law.
  • In 2000, it registered 41.2 cases of tuberculosis per 100 thousand people. In 2008, this number was down to 37.2. The incidence of malaria fell from 32.0 cases per 100 thousand in 1990 to 12.9 in 2008.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

  • Bad news here. In 1992, 108 botanical species were officially considered menaced of extinction, and this number grew to 472 in 2008. The same in the zoological domain: the number of menaced species raised from 207, in 1989, to 627, in 2003/2005.
  • But good news here. In 1992, 17.7% of the urban dwellers didn’t have access to tap water. In 2008, it was reduced to 8.4%, pretty close to 2015 target of 8.85%. Also, in 1992, 33.9% of the population didn’t have access to an adequate sewage system. In 2008 this percentage was reduced to 19.5% and the 2015 target is 16.95%. In the countryside, 90.9% didn’t have access to tap water in 1992 (72.6% still didn’t in 2008). The target for 2015 is 45.5%. Also, 89,9% of the rural households didn’t have access to sewage in 1992 (76.9% today). The target for this indicator is 44.85%.
  • In 1992, 49,3% of the  urban population lived in inadequate housing conditions. This was reduced to 34.3% in 2008.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

  • Brazil pardoned US$ 1.25 billion in  foreign debts since  2005.

3 thoughts on “Millenium goals on the way”

  1. I get a good portion of my Brazilian news from your blog- I hate to say it but I find it frustrating to read in Portuguese. It would help if I bought some magazines or newspapers but it’s not going to happen any time soon! I also enjoy this kind of news that shows Brazil making progress. I’ve been in Salvador for 8 years now and it’s been long enough for the changes to be evident even to myself, and I wonder how different it will be in another ten or twenty.

  2. As a journalist, Markuza, I was trained to be suspicious of optimistic news. But I think you cannot always keep yourself blindfolded. Good things are happening, indeed.
    Thank you so much for your feedback!

  3. Brazil just took a giant step backward with the mandated change in standards for electrical outlets. I just paid R$8.50 for a duplex outlet compliant with the new standard and a cover plate. A web search on for duplex outlets will show outlets for some $0.60 and a cover plate for $0.20, equal to $0.80 or some R$1.44, about one-sixth the price Brazilians pay for a much inferior product.

    A much inferior product it is: There are no push-in terminals and the tiny screws just end up breaking the copper wire in time. The guy who came up with the recessed plug idea should be shot, since it precludes use of most any legacy plug from any country and precludes, as well, the use of a strong replacement plug on outdoor equipment, like an electric chainsaw.

    I’ve just resigned myself to importing sockets and appliances from the USA and modifying those appliances, like string trimmers, that I buy here in Brazil with a strong $2.50 plug also available from Lowe’s in the USA. Indeed, it would be worthwhile to order all from Lowe’s for direct shipping to Brazil since, even after paying for shipping and 100% or whatever duty, you end up with a much better product for half the price!

    Brazil will continue to be a country of the future as long as it keeps setting up stupid standards that only serve to protect its national producers.

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