Global inequality a major barrier to achieving SDGs – report

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 00:00 | By

Global inequality remains a major barrier to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new report has revealed.

Launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the third annual Goalkeepers Data Report,  dubbed “Examining Inequality 2019” states that if countries want to accelerate progress  towards achieving the SDGs, they must address the inequality that separates the lucky from the unlucky.

“Every person should have an equal opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life. Inequality between countries has narrowed but remains large,” reads the report.

 The report further reveals that very few developing countries are projected to meet the health and education SDGs. This is because nearly two-thirds of the children in low and low middle-income countries live in districts that their current rate of progress won’t reach the SDG target for child mortality by 2030. One third live in districts that won’t even reach it by 2050.\

“If we are serious about SDGs, then we have to accelerate the fight against geographical inequality and make sure that more districts are excelling.” 

 According to the report even if in the worst-off parts of low- and low-middle-income countries, more than 99 percent of communities have seen an improvement in child mortality and schooling, persistent gaps in opportunity means that nearly half a billion people about one in 15 still do not have access to basic health and education.

Where you’re born is still the biggest predictor of your future, and no matter where you’re born, life is harder if you’re a girl. Despite gains in female educational attainment, opportunities for girls are limited by social norms, discriminatory laws and policies, and gender-based violence.

 “As we write, millions of people are projected to miss the targets that we all agreed to represent a decent life. We believe that seeing where the world is succeeding will inspire leaders to do more, and seeing where the world is falling short will focus their attention.”

 To address persistent inequality, Bill and Melinda Gates are calling for a new approach to development, targeting the poorest people in the countries and districts that need to make up the most ground.

“Governments should prioritize primary health care to deliver a health system that works for the poorest, digital governance to ensure that governments are responsive to their least-empowered citizens, and more support for farmers to help them adapt to climate change’s worst effects.”

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