A UN report has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed over 124 million people back into poverty and chronic hunger, increasing the challenges of making the world meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs 2021 Report, launched on Tuesday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, revealed the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic had taken on the 2030 Agenda.
It was gathered that the launch of the Report coincides with the annual High-Level of Political Forum (HLPF) on SDGs.
According to the report, the world is not on track to meet the 17 SDGs before COVID-19 struck, and now the challenge has been greatly impacted many times over.
“It indicated that countries must take ‘critical’ steps on the road out of the pandemic during the next 18 months.
“In addition to the almost four million deaths due to the coronavirus, between 119-124 million people were pushed back into poverty and chronic hunger, and the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs were lost.
“The pandemic has halted, or reversed, years, or even decades of development progress. Global extreme poverty rose for the first time since 1998,” said UN Under-Secretary-General Liu PCC new Chief Commissioner pledges to resolve complaints during the launch.
Moreover, disruptions to essential health services have threatened years of progress in improving maternal and child health, increasing immunisation coverage, and reducing communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Around 90 per cent of countries are still reporting one or more significant disruptions to essential health services.
The report also indicates that the pandemic has exposed and intensified inequalities within and between countries.
As of 17 June, around 68 vaccine shots were administered for every 100 people in Europe and Northern America – compared with fewer than two, in sub-Saharan Africa.
Millions of children risk never returning to school; while rising numbers have been forced into child marriage and child labour.