Despite COVID-19 pandemic, poor health infrastructure, SDGs is achievable -UN deputy chief

HEALTHDIGEST– The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, has expressed optimism that there is still hope for developing countries, including Nigeria, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all with a target date of attainment fixed at 2030.

Fielding questions on the possibility of achieving the SDGs from the News Agency of Nigeria, Mohammed emphasised that the goals are achievable.

She said with sustained investments and political will, developing countries could achieve the SDGs in spite of high debt profiles, mass illiteracy, poor health infrastructure, COVID-19 pandemic and poor performance in child rights.

The deputy secretary had earlier briefed newsmen on the “2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report: Bridging the Finance Divide’’ lunched by the UN on April 12 and produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with more than 60 international agencies, including the UN System, and international financial institutions.

The report came at a critical moment for humanity, adding to the compounding crises of climate change, assaults on our natural systems, and the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, she noted.

The deputy secretary-general said the report estimates that in the poorest countries, a 20 per cent increase in spending will be required for key sectors.

She acknowledged that multiplicity of crises had put developing countries at a disadvantage in making progress to achieve the SDGs, when compared with strides made by developed countries.

“There is still hope of achieving the goals. Every day, we work on different scenarios and opportunities for investments and to ride on the back of climate actions and energy transition. We are looking at the involvement of the private sector and we have seen good signs at COP 26, where unmanaged fund was committed to sustainable investment planning,’’ she said.

“We have looked at commitments made at COP26 and there were lots of commitments. So, we are pushing; we are targeting G20 and Spring Meetings. We are targeting those meetings to help to mobilise resources and to create the enabling environment,’’ Mohammed added.

According to her, attention is on multilateralism to get different ways to finance, to achieve the goals. She, however, expressed dissatisfaction at the level of institutional and corporate support for the SDGs in developing countries.

“We are not satisfied with what we have seen so far. We didn’t see that commitment in COVID-19 response,’’ she lamented.