What Are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outline a plan of action to address worldwide issues and encourage global partnerships.
What is Sustainable Development Goal #1?
The UN Sustainable Goal #1 is to “end poverty in all its forms by 2030”. As defined by the UN, poverty entails more than just the lack of income and productive resources, it also includes hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education, social discriminaton, and the lack of participation in decision-making.
Goal #1’s Seven Key Targets:
- By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.
- By 2030, reduce the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty by at least half.
- Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
- By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.
- By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.
- Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.
- Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.
Progress Towards Goal #1
Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN had made significant progress towards reaching its targets. In fact, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015. However, it is predicted that COVID-19 will push an additional 71 million people into extreme poverty, causing the pace to decelerate and risking to reverse decades of progress.
Currently, more than 700 million people (10% of the world population) still live in extreme poverty, the majority of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. These individuals are struggling to fulfill basic human needs like access to water and sanitation, education, and health. Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to experience the largest increases in extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic.
What Can You Do to Help?
The UN states that the best thing everyone can do to help eradicate poverty is to show active engagement in policy making. Governments can help generate productive employment and job opportunities for the poor and marginalized, proving a stepping stone for those in poverty. Engaging in policy making ensures that your rights are upheld, knowledge is shared, and innovation and critical thinking is encouraged. Together, we can support transformational change in people’s lives and communities.
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