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Mixed Hope for Clear Goals

NEW YORK – Last month, the United Nations announced that the world had met some important targets of the Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule. But progress has been uneven, and performance on achieving some of the MDGs’ targets has been poor.

In particular, income inequality has risen in most countries in recent decades, nullifying the benefits of economic growth for those who need them most urgently: the poor. Even where incomes have risen, fiscal tightening and reduced social-welfare spending are impeding advancement for many. Indeed, progress on some MDGs has slowed significantly since 2008, owing to the global economic crisis.