UN: Report on the 2020 Sustainable Development Goals

Each year, the Sustainable Development Goals Report provides an overview of implementation efforts around the world, highlighting areas where progress has been made and areas where further action needs to be taken to ensure that no one is left behind.

According to the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020, the world has made progress - albeit uneven and insufficient in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals - in various areas, such as maternal and child health, access to electricity and the representation of women in governments. Yet even this progress has been counterbalanced by increasing food insecurity, environmental deterioration and the persistence of widespread inequalities.

And now, in a very short time, the COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented crisis, further disrupting efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; the poorest and most vulnerable have been the hardest hit around the world.

Based on the latest data and estimates available, the annual report, which takes stock of the progress made in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, reveals that these are the poorest and most vulnerable - especially children, the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees - who are hardest hit by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, women are those who bear the brunt of the effects of the pandemic.

The main observations that emerge from the report are as follows:

AT/ It is estimated that 71 million people will be in extreme poverty in 2020, which will be the first increase in global poverty since 1998.
Loss of income, limited access to social protection and rising prices mean that even people who were previously safe are at risk of poverty and hunger.

B / The job cuts and unemployment caused by the crisis mean that some 1.6 billion people working in the informal sector of the economy and who are already vulnerable - half of the global workforce - could be significantly affected; their income is estimated to have fallen by 60 % in the first month of the crisis.

VS/ More than a billion people living in slums around the world are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, in that they suffer from a lack of adequate housing, lack of running water in their homes , the use of communal toilets, the absence or insufficiency of waste management systems, the overload of public transport and limited access to public health care facilities.

D / Women and children are also among those most affected by the effects of the pandemic. Disruption of health and immunization services and limited access to food and nutrition services could lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of children under 5 and cause tens of thousands of additional maternal deaths in 2020 In many countries, the number of reported cases of domestic violence against women and children has increased.

E / School closures have prevented 90 % students around the world (or 1.57 billion children) from attending class and deprived more than 370 million children of the school meals they depend on. The limited access to computers and the Internet at home means that distance learning is impossible for many students. Nearly 70 countries reported that their childhood immunization services were moderately or severely disrupted, or even completely suspended, in March and April 2020.

F / As more and more families find themselves in situations of extreme poverty, children from poor and disadvantaged communities are at a much higher risk of child labor, child marriage and child trafficking. Indeed, global progress towards the elimination of child labor is likely to be jeopardized for the first time in 20 years.

The report also shows that climate change is continuing much faster than expected. 2019 was the second hottest year on record and marked the end of the hottest decade (2010-2019). Meanwhile, ocean acidification is accelerating, land degradation continues, key species are threatened with extinction, and unsustainable consumption and production patterns remain extremely prevalent.

About the Sustainable Development Goals reporting:

The annual reports provide an overview of the efforts made around the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. They highlight the areas in which progress has been made and those in which we must continue to act. They are prepared by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, with the contribution of international and regional organizations and United Nations agencies, funds and programs.

Several national statisticians and experts from civil society and academia also contribute to their development.

Download the 2020 report
https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2020_French.pdf

Virginie Gastine Menou
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