Thoughts from an MDG skeptic

Knowledge brokering15 Nov 2010

Claudio Schuftan from the People’s Health Movement (PHM) makes it very clear that he is an MDG skeptic. And he strongly persuades his readers to question the ‘deficit-filling approach’ to poverty, malnutrition and health. He takes it even further, arguing that the MDGs do not address the international political power disparity, but merely create more good-looking but meaningless statistics.

Schuftan says a post-MDGs architecture should be crafted as soon as possible. This approach should take human rights as a starting point, and stress the responsibilities of the G20 countries. Calling on civil society organizations in particular to wake up and adopt a more genuine human rights approach, he underscores his arguments with alarming statements. Such as: ‘Were you aware that, in the case of the nutrition MDG, official responses, so far, seem to be more concerned with quelling or preventing food riots than with addressing the underlying and basic deeper causes of chronic malnutrition? [And] that, if current trends continue, by 2015, 3.7 million more children in Africa will suffer from malnutrition than today?’