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Vol 44 No 20

Published 10th October 2003

Missing the goals

Rich countries are reneging on promises to finance education for the poorest children

Governments of poor countries and the World Bank fear that they will not get the funds to meet the Millennium Development Goals. A new Bank study says that world-wide aid flows need to rise by US$30 billion a year, almost double the increase donors have promised. The Goals, set at the United Nations General Assembly in 2000, commit rich and poor countries to a joint campaign to halve world poverty and meet key development targets by 2015. However, donors are already proving reluctant to stump up for the flagship 'Education for All' initiative and there is little hope of United States' leadership in that or any of the other generous things it was promising before the Iraq war. Neither the European Union countries nor the USA, its economy further hobbled by security obligations in Iraq, seem prepared to meet the commitments they made three years ago.

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