The COVID-19 pandemic could push seventy-one million people globally back into extreme poverty by the end of 2020, marking the first increase in global rates of extreme poverty in more than two decades, a report from the United Nations finds. The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 highlights the progress made on the Global Goals to date and the challenges posed by the pandemic and lockdowns aimed at containing it, including increased risk of violence against women and girls; growing inequality and discrimination, especially against those facing intersecting prejudices such as LGBTQI individuals of color; and rising levels of hunger as a result of unemployment and food system disruptions. The report also includes a progress summary on targets with a 2020 deadline — including in the areas of biodiversity, access to higher education, youth employment, and climate action — of which only a few are on track to be met by year-end. The study, together with the Secretary-General's annual SDG progress report, raises the questions of how to prevent the virus from undoing the progress made on the SDGs to date and how to reengage and take action to put the world on a path toward a sustainable, peaceful, inclusive, and just future by 2030.
(Photo credit: Henitsoa Rafalia/World Bank)