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Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Gap Task Force Report 2015

Taking Stock of the Global Partnership for Development


image of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Gap Task Force Report 2015

The present report was prepared by the MDG Gap Task Force, which was created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to improve the monitoring of MDG 8 by leveraging inter-agency coordination. More than 30 United Nations entities and other organizations are represented in the Task Force, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Trade Organization. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UN/DESA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acted as lead agencies in organizing the work of the Task Force.

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Access to affordable essential medicines

Disease and poor health remain major barriers to social and economic development, despite the progress in accelerating treatment for major global health challenges over the past 15 years. Most of the 5 million deaths occurring every year from epidemics of the major infectious diseases—such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and viral hepatitis—occur in low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, 80 per cent of the deaths in 2013 from non-communicable diseases—such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes—occurred in low- and middle-income countries. Lack of access to essential medicines is one of the contributing factors to these deaths, many of which were preventable. The recent Ebola crisis in West Africa only underlines the imperative to collectively address the problems not only of access but also of innovation (see box 1). Indeed, for such reasons, Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 8 included a focus on improving access to affordable essential medicines in developing countries.

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