Millennium Development Goals

Real Data, Real Results

In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and to extend hope and opportunity to millions across the developing world. This pledge evolved into the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with an ambitious path to reach them by 2015. Since the MDGs were established, developing countries have achieved remarkable progress towards meeting these goals:

  • Since 1999, 43 million more children in sub-Saharan Africa are in primary education
  • Due to health programs and vaccinations, child mortality has fallen by 35% in the last two decades
  • In Africa, malaria deaths have been cut by over 30% in the last decade
  • Since 1990, 2 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water

These significant results did not occur overnight, and they are not the result of any single organization, initiative, or program. As part of MDG Countdown 2013, co-hosted by USAID and UK’s DFID at the 68th UN General Assembly, USAID engaged in a data-driven process to identify and highlight eight cost-effective, results-driven, grassroots programs that have contributed to accelerating progress towards the goals by empowering girls and women and investing in actions that reduce gender gaps:

Millennium Development Goals

  1. End extreme poverty and hunger;
  2. Achieve universal primary education;
  3. Promote gender equality;
  4. Reduce child mortality;
  5. Improve maternal health;
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability; and
  8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Case Studies:


Read more about USAID’s work on MDGs. [PDF, 368kB]


Last updated: August 14, 2014

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