Mounting challenges in the way of achieving SDGs – UN Report 

The 17 SDGs

A fast-changing climate, conflict, inequality, persistent pockets of poverty and hunger and rapid urbanization are challenging countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a UN report has said.

The SDGs Report 2018 found that conflict and climate change were major contributing factors leading to growing numbers of people facing hunger and forced displacement, as well as curtailing progress towards universal access to basic water and sanitation services.

The Report launched in New York on Wednesday said for the first time in more than a decade, there were now approximately 38 million more hungry people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

According to the report, conflict was now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries.

It said in 2017, the world experienced the costliest North Atlantic hurricane season on record, driving the global economic losses attributed to the disasters to over $300 billion.

At the same time, the Report found that more people were leading better lives than they were just a decade ago.

It said the proportion of the world’s workers living with their families on less than $1.90 per person a day declined significantly over the past two decades, falling from 26.9 per cent in 2000 to 9.2 per cent in 2017.

“The under-five mortality rate dropped by almost 50 per cent and in the least developed countries, the proportion of population with access to electricity has more than doubled between 2000 and 2016,” the report said.

However, in 2015, 2.3 billion people still lacked even a basic level of sanitation service and 892 million people continued to practice open defecation and in 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria compared to 210 million cases in 2013 and close to four billion people left without social protection in 2016.

The SDG Report presented an overview of progress toward achieving the Goals, which were unanimously adopted by countries in 2015.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin said, “Transitioning towards more sustainable and resilient societies also requires an integrated approach that recognizes that these challenges and their solutions are interrelated.”

It said as the global community moved forward to achieve the SDGs and address existing challenges, reliable, timely, accessible and disaggregated data was critically needed.

“This requires technology and innovation, increased resources and political commitment to build strong data and statistical systems in all countries,” it added.

Source: GNA

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