Chile: Progress towards the MDGs and social demand unmet

Students in Santiago, Chile
(Photo : Hans Peters/Flickr/CC)

Chile remains the Latin American country with the best performance in terms of achieving the goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the Millennium Government Network. Despite this level of achievement, which the report estimates at about one third of the target set for 2015, the deep social unrest massively expressed in the streets by Chilean society over the past two years regarding the state of public education and health, environmental depredation by large corporations and, above all, the obvious widening of the gap of inequality, raise questions about what this means in practice.

In our view, the failure of government policies and programs to address the underlying problems that prevent reaching a fairer society downplays the achievements in meeting the MDG targets and makes them still appear to be insufficient.

The lack of equal access to quality public education, to a public health system that ensures timely care to all people, to decent jobs and wages, the lack of effective citizen participation in the processes of evaluation of environment projects are all part of a development model that is not centered on people and their rights, but on economic growth and natural resources exploitation.

This occurs in a global context where the main challenge for the future is precisely to make substantial progress from achieving the MDG targets towards the eradication of poverty and to move further in the direction of a socially just, environmental and economically sustainable development.

By proposing a different development framework, civil society has an ally in the global campaign "Beyond 2015", noting that "it can not be assumed that the MDGs will be fully met and it is estimated that, despite the development achieved in certain sectors, in 2015 one in five people will be still living with incomes below $ 1.25 a day".