Ready, Set, …

Flights to Monrovia — check.
Raingear and malaria pills — check.
Copy of This Child Will be Great — check.
A ton of excitement — check, check, check!

So all that remains really is getting to Monrovia, Liberia where I will be spending 10 weeks of this summer interning with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs (MPEA). MPEA is the lead agency in charge of coordinating aid as well as monitoring and evaluating externally supported projects. The ministry is also responsible of developing Liberia’s Medium Term Growth and Development Strategy, which will define development priorities and guide the government’s policies over the next five years (Liberia’s current Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) is set to expire this year).

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Why the MDGs are still useful

Last week was the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit. Back in 2000, the international community agreed to end hunger, send more kids to school, keep mothers and their babies healthy, and stop HIV/AIDS from becoming a death sentence – all by 2015.  We now know that, at the due date, most countries will have failed to meet most of these goals. But those who focus on our failure to reach the targeted numbers are missing the point.

Many complain that the MDGs are just one-size-fits-all goals that do not even tell us how to achieve them. But that is precisely what is significant about them. The very fact that 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations succeeded in agreeing on a set of goals to make the world a better place for the most vulnerable is a historic achievement in its own right.

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