Progress on SDGs by 2021

Progress on Sustainable Development Goals by 2021

It has been more than a year into the global pandemic. We have witnessed loss of lives, crushed economy and the progress to achieve SDGs went completely off radar during the pandemic.  The recovery efforts so far have been uneven, inequitable and insufficiently, if at all, geared towards achieving sustainable development. Had the shift envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development been fully realised, it can be predicted that the world would have been better prepared to face this crisis, with robust healthcare systems, broader social protection, the resilience that comes from more equal societies, and a healthier natural environment. Regrettably, the SDGs were already off track even before COVID-19 emerged. Progress have been witnessed In certain areas but not enough to offset the challenges faced in achieving majority of the goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 outlines some significant impacts in many areas that are already apparent.

Key points

GoalEstimates and Data
1.       ·         COVID-19 has led to the first rise in extreme poverty in a generation.

·         An additional 119–124 million people were pushed back into extreme poverty in 2020.

·         Global Poverty rate is projected to be 7% in 2030.

·         Measures for risk reductions were incorporated in 118 countries as opposed to 45 in 2015.

·         4 billion people are still not covered by social protection.

2.       ·         Pandemic exacerbated global hunger.

·         an additional 83-132 million people are likely to have experienced hunger as a result of the pandemic.

·         The total number of undernourished people went up from 628 million to 820 million in 6 years.

·         2 billion people are without food/healthy balanced diet on a regular basis

·         1/3rd women suffer from anaemia.

·         Pandemic will worsen stunting(22%), wasting(6.7%) and overweight(5.7%) children.

3.       ·         The pandemic has halted or reversed progress in health and shortened life expectancy.

·         90% of countries are still reporting one or more disruptions to essential health services.

·         Health workers have been stretched to their limits by the pandemic (150 per 10,000 people Northern America & 10 per 10,000 people sub-Saharan Africa)

4.       ·         COVID-19 has wiped out 20 years of education gains.

·         An additional 101 million or 9% of children in grades 1 through 8 fell below minimum reading proficiency levels in 2020.

·         Basic school infrastructure to build back better is lacking in many countries particularly in LDCs (56% have drinking water; 33% have electricity and only 40% have handwashing facilities)

·         Slow progress in school completion may worsen.

5.       ·         Women Parity in representation is far off with 25.6% in national parliaments; 36.3 in local governance; and 28.2 percent in managerial positions.

·         Women may spend about 3 times as many hours as men on unpaid domestic and care work.

·         10 million girls might be at risk of child marriage in addition to 100 million already projected.

·         736 million women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime since the age of 15.

6.       ·         2 billion people lack safely managed drinking water

·         3.6 billion people lack safely managed sanitation

·         2.3 billion people lack basic hygiene

·         129 countries are not on track to have sustainably managed water resources by 2030

·         Between 1970 and 2015, natural wetlands shrank by 35%, 3 times faster than forests.

·         2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries

7.       ·         2.6 billion people use dangerous and inefficient cooking systems.

·         759 million people lack access to electricity

·         Energy efficiency improvement rate needs acceleration from 2 to 3 percent.

·         Accelerated action on modern renewable energy is needed.

8.·         Pandemic has led to the loss of the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs.

·         For many countries, economic growth is expected to return to prepandemic levels only in 2022 or 2023.

·         1.6 billion informal economy workers who lack a social safety net, were significantly affected by the pandemic.

·         International tourism fell from 1.5 billion in 2019 to 381 million in 2020.

·         31.1% young women and 14% men are not employed, or in education or in training.

9.·         Global manufacturing production fell 6.8% in 2020

·         Air passengers dropped from 4.5 billion in 2019 to 1.8 billion in 2020

·         $2.2 trillion global investments in R&D must improve to fight catastrophe like COVID.

·         Manufacture of medium and high-tech products fuelled economic recovery in late 2020

10.·         The pandemic is likely to reverse progress made in reducing income inequality since the financial crisis.

·         COVID-19 estimated to increase the average Gini for emerging market and developing countries by 6%.

·         Remittance costs are at an all-time low at 6.5%.

11.·         The pandemic has worsened the plight of slum dwellers.

·         The average global share of urban area allocated to streets and open public spaces is 16%.

·         156 countries have developed national urban policies but only half are in the implementation stage.

12.·         The global “material footprint” increased by 70% till 2017. (1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute; 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are thrown away each year)

·         Each person generated about 7.3 kilograms of e-waste but only 1.7 kilograms was recycled.

13.·         2020 global average temperature at 1.2°C above pre-industrial baseline.

·         125 of 154 developing countries are formulating and implementing  national climate adaptation plans.

·         Climate finance increased by 10 percent in 5 years.

14.·         The sustainability of our oceans is under severe threat due to acidification, ocean warming, plastic waste and even fisheries collapse.

·         Dead zones are rising at an alarming rate, from 400 in 2008 to 700 in 2019.

15.·         More than a quarter of species assessed by the IUCN Red list are threatened with extinction.

·         The world has lost 100 million hectares of forest in two decades despite progress.

·         Progress to safeguard key biodiversity areas has stalled over the last 5 years.

16.·         1 in 3 trafficking victims were children.

·         Child labour rose to160 million in 2020.

·         Only 82 countries had independent national human rights institutions in compliance with international standards.

·         In 2020 18% increase in killings of human defenders.

17.·         Foreign direct investment dropped by up to 40%.

·         Remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $540 billion in 2020.

·         Nearly half of the global population are still not online.

·         Net ODA reached a record high of $161 billion in 2020.

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