Sustainable Development Goals in times of coronavirus

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

In this blog, we will talk about the impact of COVID 19 on the SDGs and how world leaders need to get together and adapt in order to face this pandemic.

Due to the restrictions made by governments all around the world such as lockdown, many industries have struggled to maintain their activities and keep their employees. Global GDP is expected to contract by 5.2 per cent in 2020, the largest contraction in economic activity since the Great Depression, and far worse than the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

As a result, many workers found themselves in an 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 and the number of people facing acute food insecurity could almost double relative to 2019, rising to 265 million.

Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3) is one of the most impacted from the list as 70 countries have halted childhood vaccination programs, and in many places, health services for cancer screening, family planning, or non-COVID-19 infectious diseases have been interrupted or are being neglected.

SDG 4, Quality Education has also been impacted by this pandemic as schools and all educational institutions have closed. 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 (SDG14) and Life on Land (SDG 15). Since many factories stopped and cars were left at home, pollution rates dropped highly which 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 COVID 19 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 be able to get together and overcome this pandemic to finally achieve all SDGs by 2030?

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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