SDG1 and the COVID-19 Challenge

art-447-01An infographic on SDG1 and how COVID-19 can push more people into poverty

Goal number one of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Agenda is to eliminate poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.

While it comes in many forms, poverty can be said to be the result of unemployment, social exclusion and high vulnerability experienced by certain populations through disasters, diseases or other circumstances that prevent them from being productive.

As of 2015, over 700 million people or 10 percent of the global population are living in extreme poverty, which is a decline from 36 percent in 1990.

However, baseline projections have shown that six percent of the world population might still be living in extreme poverty in 2030 if more efforts are not undertaken to provide those that are most in need of basic necessities such as health, education, food security and access to water and sanitation.

Such progress to reduce poverty is now in jeopardy with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A new research published by the UN World Institute for Development Economics Research warns that the economic impact of the pandemic could threaten to increase global poverty by around half a billion people or eight percent of the total population.

Developing countries are especially at risk of facing the devastating health, social and economic consequences during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the crisis is highly likely to push millions of workers into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty.

As such, it is important for relevant stakeholders to play their part in ending poverty.

The result of massive income losses brought about by COVID-19, for instance, could increase socio-economic inequality and conflicts, which is detrimental to a country’s economic growth, political stability and social unity.

One way to reduce poverty is to provide access to essential services and social protection; the UN believes that strong social protection systems, in particular, are important in mitigating the effects and preventing people from falling into poverty, more so during and following COVID-19.

This measure is part of a framework issued by the UN for immediate socio-economic responses to the pandemic to help the poorest and most vulnerable, and this requires greater expansion of international support and political commitment.

Comments are closed.