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(2009; 92 pages) [Arabic] [Chinese] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
The present report recognizes that further progress has been made towards fulfilling the promises embodied in Millennium Development Goal 8 (MDG 8). At the same time, it identifies important setbacks, most of which have arisen from the current state of the world economy which is suffering its severest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Some donor countries are cutting their budgets for official development assistance (ODA); several developed and developing countries have resorted to protectionist measures; resurging debt distress is increasing the need for further and broader debt relief; the costs of essential medicines are on the rise; and the technological divide between developed and developing countries seems likely to widen further. These effects are compounding the devastating consequences that the global downturn is having within the developing countries themselves. Not only is progress towards the MDGs slowing, but in many areas, even the hard-won gains of recent years are under threat. The crisis has intensified the need for strengthened global partnerships for development as reflected in MDG 8...Many essential medicines are inaccessible to the poor in developing countries for two main reasons. First, there are large gaps in the availability of medicines in both the public and private sectors; second, the prices of the medicines that are available are high in relation to their international reference prices....