world poverty cut in halfThe world is on track to cut the overall poverty rate in half by 2015, fulfilling a United Nations goal set in the summer of 2000.

The most recent UN progress report shows there is a lot to be celebrating today, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).

• The proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been halved at the global level;
• Over 2 billion people gained access to improved sources of drinking water;
• Remarkable gains have been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis;
• Child mortality for children under 5 has been cut from 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011.
• The proportion of slum dwellers in the cities of the developing world is declining; and
• The hunger reduction target is within reach.

The conversation today is no longer about the suitability of UN agencies for the task, or the will of the international community. The conversation now is all about acceleration, learning from the past thirteen years, and planning for what to do after 2015.

(READ more from the U.S. Department of State)