The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent an unprecedented effort on the part of the world community to better the lives of hungry and poor people across the globe. Taken together, the MDGs serve as a comprehensive vision of human development -- one marked by dignity, equality and opportunity for all. The goals commit all countries in a partnership to eradicate hunger and poverty, ensure that all children have access to a primary school education, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, promote gender equality, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and ensure environmental sustainability. The MDGs also require developed countries to provide additional development assistance, grant debt relief to low-income countries and reform global trade rules to promote sustainable development. By including measurable targets, the MDGs provide benchmarks to use in assessing progress and determining whether adjustments are needed in national and international strategies. The goals provide a framework for coordinating development efforts, and they build on decades of success in development programming around the world.