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.