4. Millennium development goals

EU The Millennium Development Goals which relate to the fight against poverty remain at the heart of EU-Africa cooperation. This partnership constitutes a platform for intensified continent-to-continent policy dialogue, cooperation and joint action at all levels with a view to achieving the MDGs in all African countries.

It has so far concentrated on the education, health and agricultural sectors. It also aims at creating the necessary policy and financial architecture to foster MDG progress. The main actors involved are African and European Governments and Parliaments, the African Union Commission and the European Commission, local authorities, civil society organisations, private actors and researchers.

Who will benefit from the partnership and how?

The beneficiaries are first and foremost the people of Africa. Over the last decade, encouraging progress has been achieved on certain MDGs, notably in terms of expansion of HIV/AIDS treatment, increases in agricultural productivity, rise in school enrolment and increased gender parity in primary education.

The EU is fully committed to achieving the MDGs. As the world’s largest donor as well as the major trading and investment partner for Africa, the EU has contributed, not only through cooperation programmes directly targeting MDG-related sectors, but also through support and policy dialogue in crucial areas for sustainable development such as infrastructure, energy, climate change, private sector development, good governance and public finance management.

Examples of achievements

MDG 1 – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Besides humanitarian assistance – emergency aid to respond to disaster or conflict – the Commission provides over €600 million for food security per year. This means giving people both physical and economic access to the basic food they need. Between 2002 and 2009, 24 million people living in extreme poverty benefited from seeds and tools, direct cash transfers and food. Soaring food prices in 2007/8 led to the creation of an EU Food Facility, which made available €1 billion over three years to improve agricultural productivity and food supply in the 50 most affected countries.

MDG 2 – Achieve universal primary education

The European Commission supports education in more than 100 countries worldwide. Since 2004, more than 9 million pupils have been enrolled in primary education thanks to Commission support, and more than 720,000 primary school teachers have been trained.

The Education Enhancement Programme (EEP), set up in 1998, is supporting reforms in basic education in Egypt. Contributing €100 million to the EEP from its launch until 2006, the European Commission has helped build 148 schools and provide 1150 schools with ICT facilities and training. Net enrolment rates have increased by 12% since 1996 – and enrolment of girls has increased in many villages. Pupils are doing better in end of school tests. The Commission also supported the Effective School Project, which has encouraged parents to take a more active role in school life.

MDG 3 – Promote gender equality and empower women

Over the past five years, the Commission has supported the enrolment of around 85,000 female students in secondary education, in 10 countries of Sub- Saharan Africa.

MDG 4 – Reduce child mortality

At the international level, the Commission contributes to health initiatives such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. The latter has through its vaccination programme prevented 5.4 million premature deaths. In the last five years, the Commission has also contributed to immunisations for more than five million children against measles.

MDG 5 – Improve maternal health

Since 2004, Commission support to improve maternal health resulted in more than 10 million consultations on reproductive health and more than 4 million births attended by health personnel. Examples of the Commission’s contributions to improve maternal health includes increasing access to maternal and newborn care and emergency obstetric care, training midwives and skilled birth attendants, creating better working conditions for medical staff, and increasing availability and access to contraceptives.

MDG 6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Through its contribution to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Commission gave access for 7.7 million people to insecticide treated nets since 2002. It also provided antiretroviral combination therapy to 750,000 people with advanced HIV infection.

MDG 7 – Ensure environmental stability

The Commission’s water and sanitation programmes, which help build infrastructure for drinking and waste water systems, and provide basic sanitation and hygiene, amount to almost €400 million per year. Since 2004, this has resulted in more than 31 million people being connected to drinking water and 9 million to sanitation facilities.

MDG 8 – Develop a global partnership for development

The Commission is one of the largest donors in the transport sector worldwide, particularly in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Since 2004, European Commission grants have helped build and rehabilitate over 7200 km of roads, led to the maintenance of more than 29,000 km of roads, and improved national road management capacities, resulting in reduced transport costs and better mobility for millions of people.

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