Google, U.N. Partner On Poverty

    November 2, 2007

Google and Cisco have partnered with the United Nations to launch a new Web site that will detail how and where Millennium Development Goals on ending poverty are being met.

U.N. officials and other experts have said that meeting goals set in 2000 by the target date of 2015 is becoming more challenging. The creators of the site said that improved monitoring of progress could help achieve its goals.

Michael Jones, chief technologist for Google Earth told Reuters that, "Hiding from problems guarantees their perpetuation." Google Earth has added its satellite imagery and mapping service to the site so users can view problem areas.

The site will collect statistics from around the globe to provide a look of how each country is progressing on reaching goals, from reducing hunger to decreasing infant mortality.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the site would offer for the first time all the information on the goals in a single place and allow better monitoring to help flag areas that need more assistance.

‘Our global scorecard is mixed," Ban said. "Some regions, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, are not on track." He pointed out that close to 1 billion people were living on under $1 a day, and millions of children die every year because of causes tied to malnutrition.

Jones said," In the countries that fall behind, what they need most of all is to know they’re falling behind."