UN chief warns of slow progress to towards SDGs

18 Jul 17

Progress on many of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) is too slow to meet the 2030 implementation target, a report for UN secretary general António Guterres has warned.

“Implementation has begun, but the clock is ticking,” he said. “This report shows that the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030.”

The UN’s annual SDG report showed that while nearly one billion people have escaped extreme poverty since 1999, about 767 million remained destitute in 2013. Official development assistance rose by 8.9% in real terms in the 2015-16 year to $142.6bn, reaching a new peak, but bilateral aid to the least developing countries fell by 3.9% in real terms.

An “alarmingly high” number of children under age five were affected by malnutrition, with some 155 million estimated in 2016 to be stunted.

Between 2000 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 37% and the under-five mortality rate by 44%, but 303,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth and 5.9 million children aged under five died in 2015.

Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking climbed to 57% in 2014, from 50% in 2000, but more than 3 billion people lacked access to these facilities, which led to an estimated 4.3 million deaths in 2012.

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