To wit, in several SSA countries, the ratio of girls to boys in school is less than 80% (eight girls to every ten boys who have a chance at an education). In Chad, there are 6.4 girls to every 10 boys in primary education; in Guinea-Bissau there are 6.5 girls for every ten boys in school. Child mortality is a horrific problem in SSA: in 30 of the 47 countries the rate of child mortality is at least 1 in ten (for children under 5 years of age). In Sierra Leone, for example 262 out of every 1,000 children die before the age of five (World Bank data).
Maternal health is a very serious problem in SSA; over thirty countries report more than 500 mothers out of every 100,000 either die during pregnancy or during childbirth. There are some frighteningly stark numbers among those 30 countries; to wit, in Sierra Leone an estimated 2,100 women die during this critical period in their lives (World Bank data). And in Somalia the number of women dying annually during pregnancy or childbirth is 1,400 per 100,000.
In five SSA countries the number of people between the ages of 15 -- 49 who have contracted HIV is 15% or higher. In South Africa, for example, 18.1% of the population in that age group has HIV; in Botswana the percentage of people with HIV is 23.8%. As to tuberculosis, in South Africa 948 people out of every 100,000 have TB; in fact in the great majority of the 47 SSA countries more than 250 people per 100,000 have TB. Most western citizens would be shocked to learn that in eight SSA countries less than half the people have access to clean, safe water. In Somalia, only 29% of the population has access to decent water sources, according to the World Bank data.
THREE: The MDG Report 2008 points to some successes in terms of achieving goals. At the very least, attempts to control malaria have been expanded (in 16 of 20 SSA countries "insecticide-treated net use" for children under 5 years of age has "at least tripled since around 2000"). In SSA, poverty is still a nagging social and moral issue; the MDG Report indicates that the percentage of people living on less than a dollar a day was 55.5% in 1997 and was 51.4% in 2007. In 1990, 54% of SSA people were malnourished, and b y 2006 that fell to 46%, some improvement (MDG Report). In educational progress, the World Report (WR) shows that in 2000, 65% of females 15-24 were literate; in 2007, that number inched up to 67%; for males in the same time frame improvement from 76 to 77%. Gender equality: WR shows that in 2000, 6.2 females to every 10 males were enrolled in tertiary education; in 2007, that moved up to 6.8 females to every 10 males. WR shows mortality rate (under 5 years) dropped from 164 per 1,000 in 2000 to 146 per 1,000 in 2007; as for maternal health WR data show a drop from 137 per 1,000 women (age 15-19) to 118 per 1,000. The drop in HIV (from 5.6% of those 15-49 to 5.0) isn't large but it is progress. And as to environmental sustainability -- the MDG Report shows that in SSA 9.0% of "terrestrial and marine areas" were protected in 2000 but that only rose to 9.5% by 2007. And finally, development: the WB reports "aid per capita" grew in SSA from $20 in 2000 to $44 in 2007. Why so little progress? According to Thomas Franklin (Senior Policy Advisor on HIV and AIDS for UNICEF, writing in the journal Development in Practice) here is a "tendency to concentrate on narrowly defined, time-bound interventions" and in addition, the "quick fix" mentality can "distort the relationship between rich countries, the national governments they work with, and those in need of assistance" (Franklin, 2008, p. 422). There is an erroneous view, Franklin continues, that there are "simple ways of removing the causes and consequences of poverty…and that poor people" don't use those "simple ways" because they are "resistant to change" or "lacking in capacity" to make the changes.