Did you know that in sub-Saharan Africa, 30 per cent of young children are not in school? Or that 33 million people in the world have AIDS and it takes only 40 cents per day to pay for HIV/AIDS drug treatment in Africa? How about the fact that almost 2 out of 10 girls aged 15-19 in Niger have given birth?
Most of us are unaware of these facts, but they are indeed a reality in our world and are driving factors behind the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions.
This week, Skype is proud to have played a central role in addressing these goals, by helping to open up the social good conversation during UN Week. Working with the 92Y, UN Foundation and Oxfam, we brought in experts from around the world to talk with bloggers and panelists live at the Digital Media Lounge about what can be done to achieve the MDGs.
As part of Oxfam’s daily Breakfast with the World discussions, individuals working to address the MDGs candidly discussed the need to continue pressing forward towards solutions and resolutions. For example, Dr Esther Tallah of UNITAID and Dr Angelina Dawa of Abuntu for Development shared their thoughts on the maternal and child health crisis in Africa via Skype video calls from Cameroon and Kenya, respectively. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, Dr Esther Brimmer, was also able to join the conversation via Skype video call, to discuss the importance of addressing women and children’s health issues on a global scale.
In another discussion, Mamadou Biteye, regional director of Oxfam West Africa, joined via Skype call from Senegal to shed light on the role climate change can play in complicating the achievement of MDG Goal 1, eradicating extreme hunger and poverty and the need to develop long-term strategies for impacting hunger. Ben Pickering then joined in from Oxfam Islamabad to discuss the devastation flooding in Pakistan has caused and the need to provide economic support to aid in long term recovery.
This has been an incredibly inspiring week and we are proud that our software could play a key role in making UN Week events accessible to people all over the world. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done. We hope you too are inspired, and will take personal action to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For more information, we urge you to visit the UN Development Program website, where you can learn about all eight MDGs and determine which one(s) for which you want to help do good.