Fall 2021 SDG Cluster: Quality of Life
More than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty today, struggling to fulfill the most basic needs like health, hunger, and access to water and sanitation. Current estimates show that nearly 690 million people are hungry. Worldwide, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defecation. Health emergencies such as COVID-19 pose a global risk and have shown the critical need for preparedness. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of sanitation, hygiene, and adequate access to clean water for preventing and containing diseases. Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined from 36 per cent in 1990 to 10 per cent in 2015. But the pace of change is decelerating and the COVID-19 crisis risks reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty. New research published by the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research warns that the economic fallout from the global pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8% of the total human population. This would be the first time that poverty has increased globally in thirty years, since 1990.
More than 700 million people, or 10 per cent of the world population, still live in extreme poverty today, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. The majority of people living on less than $1.90 a day live in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2 per cent—more than three times higher than in urban areas.
For those who work, having a job does not guarantee a decent living. In fact, 8 per cent of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018. One out of five children live in extreme poverty. Ensuring social protection for all children and other vulnerable groups is critical to reduce poverty.
After decades of steady decline, the number of people who suffer from hunger – as measured by the prevalence of undernourishment – began to slowly increase again in 2015. Current estimates show that nearly 690 million people are hungry, or 8.9 percent of the world population – up by 10 million people in one year and by nearly 60 million in five years.
The world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. If recent trends continue, the number of people affected by hunger would surpass 840 million by 2030.
According to the World Food Programme, 135 million suffer from acute hunger largely due to man-made conflicts, climate change and economic downturns. The COVID-19 pandemic could now double that number, putting an additional 130 million people at risk of suffering acute hunger by the end of 2020.
With more than a quarter of a billion people potentially at the brink of starvation, swift action needs to be taken to provide food and humanitarian relief to the most at-risk regions.
At the same time, a profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish the more than 690 million people who are hungry today – and the additional 2 billion people the world will have by 2050. Increasing agricultural productivity and sustainable food production are crucial to help alleviate the perils of hunger.
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Currently, the world is facing a global health crisis unlike any other — COVID-19 is spreading human suffering, destabilizing the global economy and upending the lives of billions of people around the globe.
Before the pandemic, major progress was made in improving the health of millions of people. Significant strides were made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. But more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues. By focusing on providing more efficient funding of health systems, improved sanitation and hygiene, and increased access to physicians, significant progress can be made in helping to save the lives of millions.
Health emergencies such as COVID-19 pose a global risk and have shown the critical need for preparedness. The United Nations Development Programme highlighted huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and for investment in critical 21st century public services.
While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people—mostly in rural areas—still lack these basic services. Worldwide, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defecation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of sanitation, hygiene and adequate access to clean water for preventing and containing diseases. Hand hygiene saves lives. According to the World Health Organization, handwashing is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Yet billions of people still lack safe water sanitation, and funding is inadequate.
Future Thematic Clusters
Upcoming Campus SDG Events
Learn about a different UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) each session and how you can be involved. The SDGs offer goals for the world to better the lives of everyone on the planet.
The Fall workshop series will focus on Quality of Life and feature a faculty member, student group representative, and practitioner from the community briefly sharing what they are doing to make a difference. Each session will include time for table discussion and conclude with ways you can connect.
- September 8 – SDG 1: No Poverty
- September 29 – SDG 2: Zero Hunger
- October 27 – SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
- November 10 – SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Plan your Own Event
NC State Global invites campus partners to host events related to the semester’s cluster of Sustainable Development Goals. Events can be submitted through the University Calendar and will automatically be routed to NC State Global for promotion. Please see the expandable box for additional information.
To manage SDG Event submissions, we will be utilizing the central University Calendar. To submit your event:
- Login to calendar.ncsu.edu with your unity information. Click on the red ‘Submit an Event’ button on the right side.
- As part of the Event Name, add ‘SDG:’ This will instruct the calendar administrators to add the SDG tag on the back end so it shows up on the SDG website.
- In your event description, please identify which SDGs are related to this event.
- In the Filters section, under Topic, select ‘Global‘.
- Send us an email to let us know so we can help promote! email@example.com