Millennium Development Goals Regional Progress Report to Be Launched at Poverty Forum in Manila

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The annual update on the progress of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the Asia and Pacific region will be unveiled on 8 October.

The report “The Millennium Development Goals: Progress in Asia and the Pacific 2007,” produced through a regional partnership between the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific will be released on 8 October. It will reveal whether the Asia-Pacific region, which has emerged as one of the most dynamic regions in the world, is on track to meet the MDGs.

This year’s report is of key significance as 2008 marks half-way to achieving the MDGs by target date 2015. The report comprises the most recent statistics on MDGs in Asia and Pacific. Despite its success in reducing poverty, the region still has 641 million people living on less than $1 per day.

In the report, the chapter Beyond National Averages discusses rising inequalities between areas, countries and people.

The eight Millennium Development Goals - which range from halving extreme poverty to reducing child mortality, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, providing universal primary education and providing access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities by the target date of 2015 - formed a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s nations and the leading global development institutions.

The MDG Update will be launched during a two-day forum on Inclusive Growth and Poverty reduction in the New Asia, hosted by the ADB in Manila on 8-9 October. The forum will be inaugurated by ADB Vice President Ursula Schaefer-Preuss.

Over 70 influential policy makers and experts from governments, the academe, international organizations, civil society, and donor organizations will take part in the forum. They will discuss the roles of bilateral and multilateral development institutions on issues such as geographical targeting, inequality based on social exclusion, environmental poverty, and the financing and delivery of social service between now and 2020. The forum is meant to inform ADB’s discussion on a new long-term strategic framework to be more relevant for the changing Asia and the Pacific.

The forum will also tackle key development issues such as infrastructure for pro-poor growth, private sector participation, social services delivery, rural and urban development, inequalities in opportunities and access, labor markets and migration, demographical transition and programs for social protection, social inclusion, fragile areas and pockets of poverty, environmental poverty, good governance and decentralization, regional cooperation and cross-border poverty, and others.