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Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Millennium development goals (MDGs) are goals that were set by one hundred and ninety two member of the United Nations. The main goals that were set are eight and include poverty eradication, reduction of child mortality rates, commitment to fight disease epidemics like AIDS among others. In general, millennium development goals are aimed at spurring economic and social development in poor countries.

Poverty eradication is one of the main challenges that most third world nations face and unless they are provided with financial aid by donors such as the World Bank, International Monetary fund (IMF) the European Union (EU) and any other willing donor, they will achieve the set millennium developmental goals.

These donors are more than willing to bridge the gap between the rich and poor nations and to help in the uplifting of the living standards in poor nations but sometimes their wish to see this happen remains nothing but a dream because it has been established that some nations mismanage and misuse the poverty eradication funds which is meant to make millennium development goals a reality. The question that arises is whether the governments that do not demonstrate proper pro- poor commitment in terms of poverty eradication should continue being funded.

There is no rational explanation as to why these governments should be helped and yet they do not utilize these funds appropriately. This is what basically this research paper will discuss about. According to the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, poverty eradication is one of the key challenges that most developing nations face and if this challenge is to be overcome, war against it must be instituted from all fronts because poverty seems to affect all aspects of society.

In fact poverty has been likened to a dragon with many tentacles whereby in order to defeat it all must be cut. Poverty has been singled out as the main cause of almost all social evils such as disease scourges like AIDS, high crime level, child mortality and malnutrition. According to Ban Ki-Moon, different organizations and institutions must come together and work towards the achievement of this end.

Governments of the affected nations must fully commit themselves in this war and involve even private sectors and other civil society organizations if the set millennium development goals are to be attained (United Development Programs). Different nations come together so that they can help one another, uplift the living standards and complement each other in areas that affect them. Millennium development goals have targets that are supposed to have been achieved by 2015 and one of these goals is poverty eradication in poor third world countries.

It is the wish of the United Nations to see all member states achieve these goals but unfortunately, the poor nations cannot achieve this without financial assistance from developed nations and other willing donors such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund however, the provision of these funds are dependent on other things like ability of the government to demonstrate commitment in poverty eradication, existence of healthy cooperation between third world nations and the developed nations and the general ability of the well up nations to provide these funds (International Monetary Fund).

No nation, state, organization or any donor would be willing to part with even a single cent to fund poor nations in their poverty eradication programs if the governments of these nations are not committed to spend this money wisely and to the proposed programs. This fund would rather be spent to finance other projects in nations that are committed towards the achievement of this end than see it land on the hands of few greedy individuals because this is what happens in most developing nations.

According to Julian Schweitzer, a senior World Bank official, ten thousands deaths could occur due to the current global economic crisis if developed nations will not work together with poor nations to defend their poverty eradication programs (Mundell). This statement was made in response to the foreseen impacts of the economic downturns of the developed nations in terms of their waning commitment to finance poverty eradication programs.

Though lack of commitment to finance these projects was partly caused by the current global financial crisis, it is also due to the lack of demonstratable commitment of the governments of the poor nations to manage the poverty eradication funds. Constant embezzlement of Millennium Development Goals’ fund is killing the will of the developed nations and other willing donors in financing this program and thus the 2015’s millennium development goals might never be achieved and will remain nothing but just a dream (United Development Programs).

There are many corruption cases over MDGs’ poverty eradication fund and a classic example of them is Kenya where in 2008 a non governmental organization dedicated to fighting AIDS scourge together with the Ministry of Public Health and Medical Services were unable to account for the money amounting to approximately 166 US Million Dollars that they had received six years before from the Global Fund after investigations were done.

The truth is that the amount that Kenyan government received from Global Fund was thirty percent of the total amount that this organization spent globally on similar projects. A similar case also happened in Nigeria in 2009 and it only came to be known when a non governmental organization dubbed as Children Rights Network blew a whistle over the disappearance of two billion US dollars that were meant to finance the HIV/AIDS program and called for investigations to be done.

Other corruption cases of fund misappropriation has also been reported in countries such as Uganda, Zimbabwe and in Ghana where money that is meant for uplifting the living standards of common people ends up in the hands of a few individuals who are only interested in satisfying their egos. There is nothing that can be done to justify why poverty eradication funds should continue being provided to any government that has ever been implicated in a corruption case and yet the common citizen who is the main target of this project is languishing in abject poverty (Mundell).

According to Riddell (123), corruption is one of the major stumbling blocks that many third world nations face and it impedes on the achievement of Millennium Development Goals such as eradicating poverty from the society Lack of willingness and commitment on the governments of these nations to fight corruption is what has exacerbated the problem. These governments should awaken to the fact that corruption undermines the implementation of governance reforms that are aimed at the achievement of millennium development goals and if nothing will be done to change the way funds are managed, MDGs’ goals will simply remain a dream.

Developed nations have not yet given up the will to support the poor nations in achieving their MDGs for there are millions of people who are wallowing in poverty in third world nations and have nothing to eat or where to sleep and unless some intervention measures are taken by donors and other willing developed nations to support these people, many lives will be lost. But though this is the case, providing these governments with poverty eradication fund for them to achieve their objectives cannot be justified if this money will land in the hands of a few individuals and not reach the targeted persons (Cheru, and Bradford 136).

Any government that has been involved in any corrupt dealings over poverty eradication funds should not be entrusted with this fund anymore as giving such assistance is like promoting corruption and their corrupt regimes. It is said that these governments would learn a lesson from their mistakes if the funds are cut and are left on their own to finance their projects. This would make sure that in future they will use that fund responsibly and for the right project.

If millennium development goals are to be achieved by 2015, then development funds should provided and restricted only to the nations that have convincingly demonstrated strong pro-poor commitment. Where countries have shown undying commitment to the achievement of these goals like in the case of Tanzania, donors such as European Union (EU), International Monetary Fund and World Bank relieve them of their huge debts which are known to be the major hindrance to the achievement of MDGs (Ali Brownlie and Ali Brownlie 36).

Truly, it takes a heart of a philanthropist to help the needy and that is what the donors and the developed nations are doing to improve the living standards of the poor in developing nations. These developed nations and donors like World Bank and International Monetary Fund raise fund that is meant to help poor nations to eradicate poverty from their countries and this is one of the Millennium Development Goals but this cannot continue being provided to nations that mismanage these funds and end up in the hands of the most influential people in the government instead of reaching the common person who is living in abject poverty.

It is only those governments that demonstrate full commitment in utilizing this fund should be financed. Works Cited: Ali Brownlie and Bojang, Ali Brownlie. Aid and Development. Evans Brothers, 2008 Cheru, Fantu and Bradford, Colin I. The millennium development goals: raising the Resources to tackle world poverty. Zed Books, 2005. International Monetary Fund. The IMF and the Millennium Development Goals. Fact Sheet, 2008.

Accessed from http://www. imf. org/external/np/exr/facts/mdg. htm Riddell, Roger. Does foreign aid really work? Oxford University Press, 2007 Mundell Jonathan. Mismanagement of donor aid: Fears of funding cuts intensified. February 11th, 2009. Available at http://www. ngopulse. org/article/mismanagement-donor-aid-fears-funding-cuts- intensifiedBojang. United Development Programs. Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). 2008 Accessed from http://www. undp. org/mdg/

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