Back in 2015, the United Nations published the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. This document set out 17 key goals that the organisation hoped to achieve by 2030.
The 17 goals include issues that we can all agree we must work towards eradicating.
These include ending world hunger, poverty and pollution. Ensuring that everyone has access to clean drinking water, education and work opportunities are also among the UN’s priorities.
However, there has been little improvement when it comes to wage gaps between genders and ethnic groups so far. Likewise, homelessness is on the rise in the United Kingdom and Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.
Concerned about the world’s commitment to fighting these issues, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has stepped in to give the UN’s member states a nudge in the right direction.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers report
Bill and Melinda Gates have announced that they will be publishing an annual “Goalkeepers” report via their charity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will publish this each year until the Sustainable Development Goals reaches its conclusion in 2030.
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This report will document how close the world is to achieving those goals and propose ways to move forward.
The Goalkeepers report will focus on 18 of the most important issues outlined by the UN and encourage world leaders to continue working towards their goals.
The report focuses on issues surrounding:
Poverty, stunting, maternal mortality, under-5 mortality, neonatal mortality, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning, universal health coverage, smoking, vaccines, sanitation, financial services for the poor, education, gender and agriculture.
Goalkeepers report: key areas that need improvement
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has found that we still have a long way to go if we are to successfully eradicate diseases and educate the world within the next 13 years.
However, there are some areas where progress has been particularly disappointing:
The UN hoped to end preventable deaths of all newborns and children by 2030.
The world has made major progress over the years. The World Health Organization estimated child mortality at 85 deaths for every 1,000 children born in 1990. That number has since dropped to 38 deaths per 1,000 births.
However, the Goalkeeper report believes that progress has stalled in recent years.
It predicts that we would reduce that number to 23 deaths for every 1,000 born by 2020 at the current rate – some way off of the target.
Universal health coverage
Everyone should have access to health care in this day and age. However, there are still more than 400m people around the world without access to basic health care.
The vast majority of people have access to some level of medical assistance in developed countries. However, the Goalkeepers report shows that health budgets in low and middle-income countries is misspent, forcing many to go without.
United Nations set the target of providing everyone with access to adequate public health conditions by 2030.
The original document outlined improving and adding sewer systems and treatment plants to areas that are currently lacking.
However, The Bill and Melinda Foundation believes that this will prove too costly to successfully implement around the world.
As things stand, approximately 33 percent of the population are without adequate sanitation. That number is expected to drop to 23 percent by 2030 if governments continue to improve at the current rate. While any improvement is a step in the right direction, this is still some way off of the original goal.
What next for the Goalkeepers report?
Following the release of the data report, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be hosting a Goalkeepers event in New York on September 19 and 20.
A number of big name guests will be attending in a joint effort to encourage further development.
Former President of the United States Barack Obama will join the charity’s founders on stage. Actor Stephen Fry and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will also be speaking during the event.
The charity will then update and republish the report each year in order to provide an insight into how government efforts are impacting these issues.
It will take some doing to achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the Gates hope that they can accelerate the process and improve the lives of those that so desperately need improvement.