And the pandemic has triggered increased violence against women and girls.The pandemic has undermined countries’ effort to reach the ambitious global goals – and its impact far from over.
At the same time, the most vulnerable countries and populations are disproportionately impacted – including women who have lost their jobs, and been burdened with more work at home.
And the crisis has caused food, fuel and fertilizer prices to skyrocket, further disrupted supply chains and global trade, roiled financial markets, and threatened global food security and aid flows.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine war is creating one of the largest refugee crises of modern time, according to the report.
“When we take action to strengthen social protection systems, improve public services and invest in clean energy, for example, we address the root causes of increasing inequality, environmental degradation and climate change,” reminded Mr. Liu.
Deaths directly and indirectly attributable to the coronavirus, reached 15 million by the end of last year, said the report, wiping out over four years of progress in alleviating poverty as well as severely disrupting essential health services and derailing hard-won progress on SDG 3.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 reveals that the convergence of increased fighting, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and the long-term climate crisis, could push an additional 75 to 95 million people into extreme poverty this year – compared with pre-pandemic projections – and jeopardize the SDG blueprint for more resilient, peaceful and equal societies.
To avoid the worst effects of climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 and then decline by 43 per cent by 2030, falling to net zero by 2050.
As of May, over 100 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
Instead, under current voluntary national commitments (NDCs) to climate action, greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise nearly 14 per cent over the next decade.
The world must now decide to deliver on its commitments to assist the most vulnerable and rescue the SDGs for meaningful progress by 2030, the report says.
The most vulnerable
Meanwhile, the world is on the verge of a climate catastrophe where billions are already suffering the consequences of global warming and increasingly extreme weather.
Moreover, since 2020, some 147 million students have missed over half of their in-person instruction.
In low income countries, the report reveals that the total public – and publicly guaranteed – debt service to export ratio, rose from an average of 3.1 per cent in 2011 to 8.8 per cent in 2020.
Follow the roadmap
It calls on countries to emerge stronger from the crisis, and better prepared for unknown challenges ahead, which must include funding data and information infrastructure as a priority for both national governments and the international community.
“The road map laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals is clear,” stated Liu Zhenmin, UN Economic and Social Affairs chief (DESA), adding that “just as the impact of crises is compounded when they are linked, so are solutions”.
Least developed countries are struggling with weak economic growth, rising inflation, major supply-chain disruptions, and unsustainable debt, leaving in its wake, fewer job opportunities for young people, and increases in both child labour and child marriages.