UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called an emergency meeting to try to address Africa's failure to make progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
The eight internationally-declared goals, on reducing poverty and improving life chances, were set in 2000 for achievement by 2015.
But the UN says that halfway to the deadline, sub-Saharan Africa is unlikely to meet a single goal.
THE EIGHT GOALS
1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2 Achieve universal primary education
3 Promote gender equality and empower women
4 Reduce child mortality
5 Improve maternal health
6 Combat HIV/Aids, malaria, and other diseases
7 Ensure environmental sustainability
8 Develop a global partnership for development
On current form, the UN says, sub-Saharan Africa as a region will not meet any of the poverty-busting goals set to be achieved by the year 2015 - nor the benchmarks on education, health, and women's empowerment.