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Despite tremendous global economic growth over the last few decades, prosperity has evaded huge swaths of the world. Hundreds of millions of people still live in abject poverty with limited prospects for social and economic development. It was in recognition of this imbalance that the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the U.N. Millennium Summit in 2000. However, more than midway through the 15-year time frame set to realize the MDGs, progress against the goals - whether reducing extreme poverty, providing universal primary education, or advancing the quality of healthcare - continues to be uneven at best.
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