Millennium Development Goals


Monday, 6 August, 2012

In 2000, 189 world leaders met at the United Nations and agreed to eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to encourage development in the world’s poorest countries and seek to solve some of the world's biggest problems. The eight goals have set targets ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The United Nations wants to reach these goals and to halve world poverty by 2015

The goals are helping align the efforts of world governments and leading development organisations to meet the needs of some of the world’s poorest people.

Merlin has its own goals for 2015 that support the achievement of the MDGs - specifically goals 1, 4, 5 and 6.

Goal 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

An estimated 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger and starvation each year – the majority living in the developing world, with one in four children being underweight. The world now faces the challenge of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger as it works towards achieving MDG 1.

Merlin is working tirelessly towards reducing the number of people suffering from chronic hunger in the countries we work in. We screen children and pregnant women for malnutrition, carry out blanket feeding and run nutrition programmes across the globe.

We also collaborate with partners such as the World Food Programme to deliver food supplies to remote populations and carry out community education programmes that promote healthy nutrition. By 2015 Merlin aims to have protected 1.92 million children under five from malnutrition and reduce malnutrition related mortality by 50%.

Goal 4 - Reduce child mortality

Due to a lack of basic medical care, in parts of Africa and Asia up to 40 times more children die before they reach the age of five than in Britain and the USA.

By improving medical treatment, running vaccination programmes, encouraging breastfeeding and educating parents about disease prevention, Merlin is helping thousands of children live to celebrate their fifth birthday and contribute towards global efforts to achieve MDG 4.

Goal 5 - Improve maternal health

In many of the countries where Merlin works, a chronic shortage of midwives is thought to be one of the major factors behind the high levels of maternal mortality. To reduce the number of women dying in childbirth, Merlin is improving maternal care by supporting community midwives and establishing midwifery training schools. We aim to ensure that at least 6,000 skilled birth attendants are providing care for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers by 2015.

We’re also pledging to increase access to family planning services - offering women the right to choose when to have children can save lives. By 2015 we hope to have given an additional 1.5 million women access to family planning services.

Goal 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases

Every year transmissible and preventable diseases such as HIV, malaria, Tuberculosis and pneumonia are responsible for the deaths of millions in developed countries. 

Merlin is working to control HIV/AIDS through our HIV programmes, which carry out community education programmes, promote safe-sex and provide anti-retroviral drugs to those who test positive for HIV.

We’re carrying out nationwide programmes to reduce the spread of malaria in many high-risk countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kenya. By 2015 we aim to have provided 1,800,000 children under five years with insecticide treated mosquito nets to protect them from malaria related deaths.

Across the world, our programmes are protecting children under five from preventable and treatable diseases like tetanus, polio, diptheria and measles. We plan to vaccinate over one million children under 12-months old against preventable childhood diseases by 2015.

Further information regarding the Millennium Development Goals can be found on the United Nations' website.