The country is ahead of the curve on achieving several Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations' target year of 2015. Some have already been achieved, like halving the extent of poverty since 1990, achieving universal primary education and halving the percentage of people without access to safe drinking water. Others will fall marginally short, like halving the population without access to sanitation facilities.

And the maternal mortality rate will have fallen by a creditable 68 per cent in 25 years, but will fall short of the target of 75 per cent reduction. Some targets will be missed by a mile, but most indicators (including levels of hunger) show substantial improvement. Read More