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Covid 19 took us all by surprise, as it swirled around the world in record speed, affecting countries from one end of the globe to the other. It has also had a profound impact on many of our lives bringing travel to a stand still and deeply affecting the progress of achieving the sustainable development goals as set out by the United Nations to ensure a better quality of life for all. We are going to take a look at how this pandemic has had an impact on the progress towards achieving some of these goals and what we can do to combat some of the setbacks that have come in its wake from within your own communities or even your own homes.

Goal 1 End Poverty.

Second to loss of life one of the most devastating setbacks of Covid 19 is loss of jobs and income. The global economy is at an all time low and many families are struggling to get by and place food on the table. According to the world bank the pandemic has pushed 30 – 60 million around the globe into extreme poverty with the best estimate being 49 million. With Sub Saharan Africa being hardest hit. For more information on these statistics from the world bank please read this article by Daniel Mahler.

So what can you do to play apart in mitigating this devastation? 

If you are one of the fortunate individuals who are still earning an income you could simply set up a standing order which contributes a small amount of money each month to a reputable charity that supports job creation or food security in some of the regions or countries hardest hit. Action Change is an organization who has been around for 15 years supporting grassroots organizations and communities around the world tackle sustainable development. They are currently supporting 65 different projects all aligned with the Sustainable Development goals if you would like to set up a recurring donation you can do so here

Goal 3 health and wellbeing:

As the world races towards successfully producing a safe vaccination to combat the spread of Covid 19 some countries are simultaneously battling with large disruption to services for non communicable diseases. A non communicable disease is a non infectious disease which lasts over a long period of time these include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. This disruption of service is of grave concern as people living with NCDs are at higher risk of severe COVID-19-related illness and death.

According to  Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Many people who need treatment for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have not been receiving the health services and medicines they need since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s vital that countries find innovative ways to ensure that essential services for NCDs continue, even as they fight COVID-19.” NCD’s are estimated to kill 41 million people each year more than 85% of these premature deaths occur in low or middle income countries. For more information on how the pandemic have affected health services around the world take a look at this news release from the WHO in June 2020.

What can you do?

Well people with non communicable disease are high risk therefore some as simple as wearing a mask is doing your part in preventing the spread and protecting those particularly the most vulnerable. However if you want to be part of the movement who is aiming to build back better and consider innovative ways to improve access to health care to people in rural and developing countries join a cohort working on a program tackling public health in africa contact us and let us know your interest.

Goal 10 Inequality:

“The pandemic has, in almost every dimension, made inequity worse,” said Bill Gates during a press conference. The shock of a pandemic of this magnitude has brought out the cracks in our societies showing stark contrasts in access to food, education, sanitation both within different communities in the same country and between countries across the globe. 

The Goal keepers report prepared by the Gates Foundation in partnership with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has over previous years documented steady progress towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Sadly this year almost all metrics have shown a decline in quality of life. The pandemic has hit our planet causing a domino effect of crisis from health crisis to economic crisis to education crisis and so it continues. Exacerbating existing inequities among nations, genders, and races.

Now more than ever we need to take note and action to close the inequality gaps in order to achieve the Sustainable Development goals and ensure improved quality of life for all leaving no one behind.

What can you do?

Educate yourself about Sustainable Development and integrate these principles into your organization, career choice and everyday life to learn more about sustainability and gain practical experience and mentorship take a look at some of the courses and internships available to graduates and young professionals looking for careers with purpose and to make a difference.

It’s time to take action and facilitate change!