The United Nations, UN says COVID-19 has magnified the challenges of making the world meet the Sustainable Development Goals as between 119 to 124 million people have been pushed back into poverty and chronic hunger.
SDGs Report 2021, launched on Tuesday at UN Headquarters in New York, showed the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic had taken on the 2030 Agenda.
The launch of the report coincides with the annual High-Level Political Forum on SDGs.
According to the report, the world was not on track to meet the 17 SDGs before COVID-19 struck, and now the challenge has been magnified 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.