In 2004, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund started producing the annual Global Monitoring Report, which focuses on how the world is doing in implementing the policies and actions for achieving the MDGs and related development outcomes. The reports provide a framework for accountability in global development policy.
The first goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 from its 1990 level is still reachable at the global level based on current projections, but risks abound.
At the country level, a majority of developing countries are at risk of missing most of the MDGs. Sub-Saharan Africa is falling short on all MDGs and South Asia lags on all human development MDGs. Low-income countries, particularly fragile states, are at risk of MDG shortfalls. Most human development MDGs are unlikely to be achieved, as current trends and prospects are gravest in health.
Although the current crisis calls for a special focus on social protection programs that shield poor and vulnerable people from immediate hardship, it is vital to speed up progress toward the human development goals. Key programs in health and education—such as controlling major diseases including HIV/AIDS and malaria, strengthening health systems, and supporting the Fast Track Initiative in education—need to be reinforced.
The Global Monitoring Report outlines priority areas for action in light of the current worldwide economic situation:
- Ensure an adequate fiscal response in developing countries to protect the poor and vulnerable groups and to support economic growth. Priority areas must be strengthening social safety nets and protecting infrastructure programs that can create jobs while building a foundation for future productivity and growth
- Provide support for the private sector, especially for small and medium enterprises, and improve the climate for recovery and growth in private investment
- Redouble efforts in human development and recover lost ground in progress toward the MDGs, particularly those related to health and education.
To support these efforts, the report emphasizes three key global priorities:
- Donors must deliver on their commitments to increase aid. The increased needs of poor countries hit hard by the crisis call for going beyond existing commitments.
- National governments must hold firm against rising protectionist pressures and maintain an open international trade and finance system. Completing the Doha negotiations would provide a much-needed boost in confidence to the global economy at a time of high stress and uncertainty.
- Multilateral institutions must have the mandate, resources, and instruments to support an effective global response to the global crisis. The international financial institutions will need to play a key role in bridging the large financing gap for developing countries resulting from the slump in private capital flows, including using their leverage ability to help revive private flows.