Achieving the MDGs
Eradicate extremepoverty and hungerAchieve universalprimary educationPromote genderequality and empowerwomenReduce child mortalityImprove maternalhealthCombat HIV/AIDS,malaria, and otherdiseasesEnsure environmentalsustainabilityDevelop a globalpartnership fordevelopment22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.
he Millennium Development Goals(MDGs)—a set o eight important, time-bound goals ranging rom reducing povertyby hal to providing universal primaryeducation—represent a blueprint or globaldevelopment agreed to by member stateso the United Nations and internationaldevelopment institutions. However, achievingthem will be a major challenge or Madagascarand many other developing countries that arenot “on track” to meet the goals by the targetdate o 2015. As stated by United NationsSecretary-General Ko Annan, it will take timeand commitment to mobilize the necessaryresources, train the required personnel, andestablish the neededinrastructure tomeet the MDGs.In Madagascarand other Aricancountries, onemajor actorcontributing tothe challenge is the continued rapid growtho the population. The number o people inneed o health, education, economic, andother services is large and increasing, which,in turn, means that the amount o resources,personnel, and inrastructure required to meetthe MDGs is also increasing. In light o thisact, development eforts in support o theMDGs should not overlook the importance andbenets o slowing population growth. This brie, based on a multi-country studytitled “Achieving the Millennium DevelopmentGoals: The Contribution o Family Planning,”looks at how one strategy—
meeting the need for family planning
—can reduce populationgrowth and make achieving the MDGs moreafordable in Madagascar, in addition todirectly contributing to the goals o reducingchild mortality and improving maternal health.
The contribution of family planning
Reducing MDG Costs
High rates o population growth are largelythe result o requent childbearing or highertility—oten corresponding with a largeunmet need or amily planning (FP). InMadagascar, women still have, on average,about 5 children each, and surveys show thatthe unmet need or FP services is high (23.6percent o married women o reproductiveage want to space or limit births but arenot currently using any method o amilyplanning). I access to amily planningservices was increased, this unmet needcould be met, thereore slowing populationgrowth and reducingthe costs o meeting theMDGs. The study estimatedthe extent o the costsavings or ive o theeight MDGs. Costswere calculated undertwo scenarios: when unmet need or amilyplanning remains constant and when allunmet need is gradually met by 2015.Although it may take Madagascar longer than10 years to satisy all unmet need—and thisquestion is addressed in the larger study—what is clear is that reducing the unmetneed or FP services can help Madagascarsigniicantly reduce the costs o meeting theive selected MDGs, including:• Achieve universal primary education• Reduce child mortality• Improve maternal health• Ensure environmental sustainability• Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and otherdiseasesFor example, the cost o achieving the MDGor universal primary education is inluenced