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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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Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Promoting inclusive and sustainable industries and continuing to invest in physical infrastructure, innovation and research are vital to long-term economic development. Investment in research and development (R&D) globally, and financing for economic infrastructure in developing countries has increased. What’s more, the intensity of global CO2 emissions has declined, and impressive progress has been made in mobile connectivity. However, the growth of manufacturing has decelerated and industrialization in LDCs is still too slow. The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to manufacturing and transport industries, causing disruptions in global value chains and the supply of products as well as job losses and declining work hours in these sectors. In developing countries, manufacturing jobs are an essential source of income and are key to poverty reduction. The effects of COVID-19 have been so destabilizing that they threaten to halt or even reverse progress towards SDG 9 and other Goals.

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