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World Bank, IMF Report on MDGs Progress

April 2012: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have published the 2012 Global Monitoring Report (GMR) on progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This year's edition, titled “Food Prices, Nutrition, and the Millennium Development Goals,” highlights the need to help developing countries deal with the harmful effects of higher and more volatile food prices.

The report notes that in 2007-2008 and again in 2011, spikes in food prices prevented the achievement of poverty eradication policies affecting especially the urban poor and the health of children. However, the GMR's assessment of progress on MDGs also offers some grounds for optimism, highlighting that global targets for overcoming extreme poverty and access to safe drinking water have been reached ahead of schedule. It also notes that goals related to primary school completion rate and gender equality in primary and secondary education appear within reach.

The report lists goals still requiring policies to push for progress, including those related to: child and maternal mortality; access to improved sanitation facilities; and the combat of HIV/Aids and Malaria. On environmental sustainability, it warns that achievements may be lost in light of growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, deforestation and the consequences of climate change. With only three years to go until 2015, the report also identifies room for improvement when looking at countries and regions, rather than carrying out an assessment at the global scale. [Publication: Global Monitoring Report 2012: Food Prices, Nutrition, and the Millennium Development Goals]