eradicate extreme poverty and hunger


The purpose of millenium goal number one is reduce the level of poverty within developing countries through the development of strategies to promote employment opportunities, particularly for women and young people. It is expected that through greater employment opportunities and increased income the number of people suffering from hunger will also decrease


Goal number one is important due to its impact on morbidity and mortality rates in developing countries.

It also impacts significantly on individuals lives by:

  • not being able to purchase the quantity of food needed to sustain life
  • not being able to access the required healthcare to treat a preventable illness.

It also impacts significantly at a national level as countries do not have the economic resources to develop infrastructure and invest in education,health, political and legal systems, and public institutions. As many developing countries do not have these it is difficult for individuals to improve their lives and escape the cycle of poverty.

Through goal number one it is expected that individuals will be able to purchase nutritious foods reducing hunger and also improve their health. Through improved health individuals human development is promoted.


Halve,between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people whose income is less than US$1 a day

the target for goal one is determined by measuring the proportion of people who live in extreme poverty (less than US$1 a day) and using it in a percentage, and the target is set by dividing the percentage of 1990 in half. For example in 1990 28.3% of people in low and middle income were living in poverty, so therefore the target to reduce poverty in low and middle income countries is to 14.2% of the population by 2015.


Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all,including women and young children

By providing opportunities for full and productive employment,individuals are able to earn an income and cross the poverty line. In most developing countries women are poorer than men, as they are required to be caregivers within families and perform all domestic duties. They are also less likely to go to school, impacting significantly on the opportunities to be employed.

Also many children in developing countries do not get an education and are often forced into child labour, working in long hours in environments that are not regulated to ensure their safety. Many children die as a result of unsafe work or suffer lifelong physical damage which impacts on their ability to earn an adequate income in the future.


Halve,between 1990 and 2015,the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

Hunger can be defined as the continuing deprivation in a person of the food needed to support a healthy life.

Malnutrition refers to a lack of specific nutrients required for the effective functioning of the body.

Approximately 925 million people do not have enough to eat, with 98% in developing countries. A lack of access to adequate nutrients is a cause of death in many children in developing countries with malnutrition and hunger related diseases being the cause of 60% of the 10.9 million children under five who die every year(UNICEF,2007, The state of the world's children). Hunger and malnutrition can also increase the effects of diseases such as measles and malaria.

Rising food prices have a significant impact on the poor, as many are unable to buy food when prices increase and fall victim to severe hunger and malnutrition.


While the world has made many achievements combating world poverty the progress remains uneven, and many countries level of poverty is getting worse.

Globally the proportion of people living on US$1 a day decreased from 30% in 1990 to 23% in 1999. Most of Asia and North Africa are on track but little to no progress has been made in Sub-Saharan Africa,Latin America, the Caribbean and in Western Asia, poverty has actually increased.

  • As of 2001, almost half of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa was struggling to survive on US$1 per day or less