In the United States, some 50 million people are currently affected by poverty.


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The Sustainable Development Goals differ radically from the current Millennium Development Goals in many aspects. Our author demonstrates the challenges that departing from a donor-oriented development framework poses – particularly for the North, and also with a view to its own development.

The first goal of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) promised to reduce by half by 2015 the proportion of people living with under one US dollar a day, with 1990 as the base year. This focus on extreme poverty is the essence of the MDGs. When the discussion about a new development agenda started, Mark Lowcock, permanent secretary of the UK Department for International Development asked “What about the other half?” in an opinion piece titled “After the MDGs: What next?” (Bond, 2012). The obvious answer for most of the development cooperation community was that the post-2015 agenda should “finish the task” (an expression frequently used in the MDG context).

And this is precisely what the first target of the first SDG Goal states: “by 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day”. It is also reflected in Goal 2.2.

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