HomeTop StoriesGlobal targets for poverty reduction, inequality 'at risk': UN

Global targets for poverty reduction, inequality ‘at risk’: UN

The world still hasn’t done enough to improve access to safe drinking water, says the United Nations in a new report (AHMAD AL-BASHA)

The goals the world has set to alleviate extreme poverty, improve access to drinking water and take steps toward sustainable development for all humanity are “at risk,” the United Nations said in a report released Monday. published.

“Unless we act now, the 2030 Agenda could become an epitaph for a world that could have been,” warns UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a preamble to a report assessing the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals .

In 2015, UN member states adopted 17 goals to build a better, more sustainable future for the entire world by the end of this decade.

“But by mid-2030, that promise will be in jeopardy,” the report says, with more than half of the world likely to be left behind.

The Sustainable Development Goals “disappear in the rearview mirror”.

Experts assessed 140 target areas identified under the Sustainable Development Goals, ranging from access to health care and the fight against climate change to tackling inequality and equal access to energy, the report notes.

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More than 30 percent of targets have seen no progress or even decline since 2015, and about half of them show moderate or severe deviation from the desired trajectory.

For example, the Covid-19 pandemic ended a downward trend in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $2.15 a day.

But at current rates, 575 million people will still be living in such conditions by 2030, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s a 30 percent drop since 2015, but far from the hoped-for eradication, the report says.

“Shockingly, the world is back at a level of hunger not seen since 2005,” the report said.

About one in three people (2.3 billion) will face moderate or severe food insecurity by 2021, and child malnutrition remains a “global problem,” it notes.

“About 1.1 billion people currently live in slum or slum-like conditions in cities, with two billion more expected to grow in the next 30 years,” it says.

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– Gender equality progress ‘too slow’ –

The pandemic, which has exposed the fragility of many advances, has had a “devastating” impact on education.

Without new measures, only one in six countries will reach the goal of universal access to secondary education by 2030 and 84 million children will be out of school, the report said.

On gender equality, the report points to “too slow” progress, noting that at the current pace it would take 286 years to close the gap in legal protection and abolish discriminatory laws, and 300 years to create one. end child marriages.

And developing countries, “buried under a mountain of debt,” are “hardest hit by our collective failure to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Guterres, who has repeatedly called for reform of international financial institutions.

“We cannot continue with a morally bankrupt financial system and expect developing countries to meet targets that developed countries have achieved with far fewer constraints,” the report adds.

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Against this backdrop, the UN is calling for a September 18-19 summit to adopt “a rescue plan” for the targets.

This would require strong new political commitment from member states, as well as support for Guterres’ proposal for an additional $500 billion a year stimulus package by 2030 to fund sustainable development.

Despite the gloomy picture that the report paints, the UN does point to hopeful signs.

For example, child mortality fell by 12 percent between 2015 and 2021 and almost 150 countries are expected to meet their targets in this area by 2030.

Internet access has increased significantly, with 5.3 billion people connected by 2022, while AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 52 percent since 2010.

Since 2015, the share of the population with access to safe drinking water or sanitation has also increased.

But as with many of the UN goals, progress does not mean success: 2.2 billion people still lacked access to safe drinking water by 2022 and 419 million had no choice but to relieve themselves in the open air.


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