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The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020

image of The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020

This year marks the start of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It is a critical period to advance a shared vision and accelerate responses to the world’s gravest challenges – from eliminating poverty and hunger to reversing climate change. Yet, in only a brief period of time, the precipitous spread of the novel coronavirus turned a public health emergency into one of the worst international crises of our lifetimes, changing the world as we know it. Now, due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods, making the achievement of Goals even more challenging. The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 presents an overview of progress towards the SDGs before the pandemic started, but it also looks at some of the devastating initial impacts of COVID-19 on specific Goals and targets. The report was prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with over 200 experts from more than 40 international agencies using the latest available data and estimates.

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Zero hunger

Eradicating hunger and achieving food security remains a challenge, more so in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. At the global level, hunger and food insecurity have been on the rise, and malnutrition still affects millions of children. The situation is likely to get worse owing to economic slowdowns and disruptions caused by a pandemic-triggered recession. In addition to COVID-19, the desert locust upsurge in six Eastern African countries and Yemen – where 35 million people are already experiencing acute food insecurity – remains alarming. To mitigate the threats posed by the pandemic to vulnerable populations, countries need to take immediate action to keep trade flowing, to strengthen food supply chains and to increase agricultural production.

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