Top 5 Millennium Development Goal success stories

Ten years ago, the UN gave the world's poorest countries 15 years to halve their poverty rates, reverse the spread of AIDS, enroll 100 percent of their children in elementary schools, and give 100 percent of their pregnant women access to medical care. Now a decade into the program, which of these ambitious goals will be reached?

3. The financial crisis

The 2008 financial crisis rocked the world, affecting the poor more than most. This year alone, some 64 million people will see their salaries slide below $1.25 a day, the World Bank estimates. Another 40 million will go hungry – lots of critical development budgets will starve, too.

“What the financial crisis most certainly did, is it knocked so many countries sideways,” says World Bank spokesman Phil Hay.

But there's a silver lining.

The crisis cast a harsh, critical light down the halls of governments, disabusing autocrats of their delusions of competence, says Liesbet Steer of the London-based Overseas Development Institute.

“There is definitely a consensus that the crisis affected the world’s poorest the most,” she says. “But there’s also a consensus now that with good governance, and good poverty reduction targets, a crisis can be offset, and nations can be resilient.”

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