Summary of How Close to Zero?

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In September 2015, member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to end extreme poverty by 2030. This expert report from researchers John W. McArthur and Krista Rasmussen assesses whether 193 nations are on track to meet those SDG targets. Some of their findings are encouraging, while other results indicate there’s much work ahead for the global community. getAbstract recommends this important study to activists, economists and others interested in worldwide sustainability issues and in how countries are handling them.

About the Authors

John W. McArthur is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where Krista Rasmussen is a research analyst.



In 2015, the United Nations set an ambitious mandate for its members to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that assure “universal access to basic human needs” by 2030, thus ending living conditions of dire poverty. A 2016 study investigated the progress so far of 193 countries in meeting six particular SDGs: 1) eliminating undernourishment, 2) reducing the rate of maternal deaths in childbirth, 3) decreasing both neonatal deaths and deaths of children under the age of five, 4) guaranteeing primary schooling, 5) ensuring safe drinking water, and 6) providing sanitation facilities...

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