Next 18 months seen as pivotal in global efforts to reverse punishing pandemic impacts and boost actions to achieve key goals

  • The global extreme poverty rate rose for the first time since 1998, from 8.4% in 2019 to 9.5% in 2020.
  • Between 1 February and 31 December 2020, Governments around the world announced more than 1,600 social protection measures, mostly short-term, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Pandemic-related shocks are likely to trigger a rise in stunting, which already affects more than one in five children.
  • The pandemic has halted or reversed progress in health and poses major threats beyond the disease itself. About 90% of countries are still reporting one or more disruptions to essential health services.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schooling is a ‘generational catastrophe.’ An additional 101 million children and youth fell below the minimum reading proficiency level, wiping out the education gains achieved over the last two decades.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected progress towards gender equality: violence against women and girls has intensified; child marriage is expected to increase; and women have suffered a disproportionate share of job losses and increased care work at home.
  • 759 million people remained without electricity and one third of the global population lacked clean cooking fuels and technologies in 2019.
  • An economic recovery is under way, led by China and the United States, but for many other countries, economic growth is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2022 or 2023.
  • The world fell short on 2020 targets to halt biodiversity loss and 10 million hectares of forest being lost each year between 2015–2020.
  • While net official development assistance increased in 2020 to a total of $161 billion, this still falls well short of what is needed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and to meet the long-established target of 0.7% of GNI.
  • In 2020, 132 countries and territories reported that they were implementing a national statistical plan, with 84 having plans that were fully funded. Only 4 out of the 46 LDCs reported having fully funded national statistical plans.

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Official account of the UN SDG Action Campaign, aiming to mobilize, inspire & connect a movement to #TurnItAround for the #GlobalGoals