Kirubaharan carrying sacks of rice for distribution. He works for Oxfam Australia's partner KPNDU (Koralaipattu North Development Union). KPDNU is building temporary shelters and distributing food and non food items. Photo: Jerry Galea/OxfamAUS

Millennium Development Goals

Eradicating global poverty

In 2000 a child was dying every three seconds from preventable diseases. In the same year 191 member countries of the United Nations (including Australia) came together to set the target of halving world poverty by 2015.

To achieve this, the United Nations established eight goals called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and set targets for reaching them.

The Make Poverty History campaign began in 2005 as a way to raise awareness about global poverty, and to ensure that the MDGs are met. The campaign involves 80 countries and is the largest anti-poverty movement in history.

Millennium goal eight, calls on developed nations to work in partnership with developing nations to meet the MDGs. It asks all nations to commit to allocating 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) to overseas development assistance, which works out to be roughly 70 cents out of every $100.

How Australia stacks up

Currently the Australian Government gives around 0.34% of GNI to overseas development assistance – just half of what is required. Australia’s overseas aid expenditure is well below the average level of funding from other countries which stands at 0.48%. See how Australia compares to other nations.

The Australian Government and Opposition have now both pledged to increase overseas development assistance to 0.5% by 2015 – but this still falls short of 0.7%.

More on Australia’s aid effort

Make Poverty History

Make Poverty History has played a crucial part in getting governments around the world to meet their commitments under the MDGs. Australia’s vibrant MPH movement has played a crucial role in getting the Australian Government to increase its aid commitment to 0.5%.

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Across the world, women are more likely to live in poverty. But in Bangladesh, dairy farming is creating income for women like Aklima. Together, we can help more women take control of their lives.

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