SDGs in Times of Coronavirus

Sustainable Development Goals in times of COVID-19

2015 the United Nations General Assembly set The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or The Global Goals. These goals aim to tackle and find solutions to various issues, such as poverty, climate change, etc., and should be achieved by 2030.

However, on the journey to achieving these goals, something unprecedented came along our way – the COVID-19 pandemic. In this blog, we will talk about the impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs. And further, how world leaders need to get together and adapt to face these newly arisen challenges.

all 17 global goals or SDGs

Impact of COVID on the world

Due to the restrictions made by governments worldwide, many industries have struggled to maintain their activities and employees. Global GDP is expected to contract by 5.2 percent in 2020. The most significant contraction in economic activity since the Great Depression and far worse than the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

As a result, many workers find themselves in unexpected unemployment, losing the ability to provide for their families. According to the UN, an additional 10 million of the world’s children could face acute malnutrition. Further, the number of people facing acute food insecurity could almost double relative to 2019, rising to 265 million.

SDGs in crisis?

When confronted with news like that, it is easy to think that all hope is lost and we are en route to a significant deterioration. With 70 countries haltering childhood vaccination programs, SDG 3  – Good Health and Wellbeing is among the most impacted. Many places halted or interrupted health services for cancer patients or other non-COVID-19 infectious diseases.

The pandemic has also impacted SDG 4 – Quality Education. School closures have affected over 90 percent of the world’s student population—1.6 billion children and youth have switched to online learning, making it difficult to continue providing proper education as not all have the means to pursue it.

Although COVID-19 had several negative impacts on the SDGs, it also had positive impacts on some, such as Climate Change (SDG 13), Life below Water (SDG 14), and Life on Land (SDG 15). Since many factories stopped and people left their cars at home, pollution rates dropped significantly.  This had a positive impact on the progress of the SDGs mentioned before.

Nevertheless, the UN believes that working towards the SDGs can offer the best option to reduce the consequences of COVID19 as countries should “prioritize action in three areas: protecting progress already made towards the SDGs, accelerating the universal provision of quality basic services, and maintaining the environmental gains of this period to reverse trends in the degradation of nature.”

What are your thoughts on this subject, and do you think the world will finally get together and overcome this pandemic to achieve all SDGs by 2030?


Hi, I’m Lea. Currently, I am the National Marketing Director of AIESEC in The Netherlands.
We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships to develop leadership in youth. You can read more about leadership-related topics here.

References:
https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2468-2667%2820%2930189-4
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2020/06/recovery/

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