Africa and Middle East

Millennium Development Goals


All United Nations members signed up to the Millennium Declaration in 2000 which set a 15 year objective to: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat disease pandemics such as AIDS, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development. These goals translate into concrete targets and measurable indicators. The looming 2015 deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals has brought back into focus the question of how much it will cost and who will fund it.


Estimating the order of magnitude of the funds needed to meet the MDGs and the scope of increased domestic resource mobilisation, Stijns et al (2012), a Development Centre Study published by the OECD in April 2012 informs the funding debate. Analysis reveals that achieving the MDGs is at least as much about policies as about financing. This insight should also inform discussions on emerging initiatives for after 2015.


This project was undertaken thanks to generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We have benefited from comments of participants at the workshop on “Costing MDGs: Investing in Development at the horizon 2015 and beyond” jointly organised by the OECD Development Centre and its partners on the initiative, the South African Institute of International Affairs, the South African Treasury and the UN Development Programme South African office, in Pretoria on 14 November 2011. Guidance has also been received from the members of the Centre’s DeFiNe network at its annual meeting on 27 February 2012.


This work has also been discussed in Rabat, Morocco, on 19 April 2012, in the context of the African Conference on the Measure of Well-Being and Fostering the Progress of Societies, co-organized by the OECD Development Centre and Statistics Directorate and the High Commission for Planning of Morocco. An earlier version of this Issue Paper was submitted to the International Development Committee of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons.



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