UNDP Logo MP Logo

At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets with a deadline of 2015 that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.

The Goals provide the framework for a comprehensive, integrated development strategy, and have been signed onto by 189 member states of the UN. While many parts of the world have made progress towards achieving the MDGs, sub-Saharan Africa has been struggling to make progress on many of the Goals, and is plagued by a rise in extreme poverty and stunningly high child mortality rates.

The Millennium Villages project is an innovative approach to helping rural African communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Millennium Villages liases with community, district and national groups to develop action plans that are tailored to each villages' specific needs and designed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The action plans are straight-forward, low-cost, thorough and proven to suceed.

Simple solutions like providing high-yield seeds and fertilisers have in some villages increased crop yields by 400%. Other solutions include providing medicines, insecticide treated bed nets, drinking wells and materials to build scool rooms and clinics. These solutions are effectively combatting extreme poverty and nourishing communities into a new age of health and opportunity.

In the Millennium Villages today, where once the was pervasive hunger and sub-subsistence farming, farmers are now producing bumper crops. As agreed in each villages' action plans, crop surpluses help supply school feeding programs, which have sparked a dramatic increase in school attendance and simultaneously helped decrease rates of malnutrition.

Over a five-year period, community committees and local governments build capacity to continue these initiatives and develop a solid foundation for sustainable growth. The progress achieved by the Millennium Village communities is catalyzing tremendous enthusiasm among local and national policy leaders for expanding the project and building on the momentum underway.

For the first time in history, with the Millennium Villages project, we actually have the opportunity to end extreme poverty, disease and hunger in our generation. Visit our Friends page to see how you can help.

Millennium Development Goals

Fast Facts