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Gates Foundation’s Annual Goalkeepers Report Shows COVID-19 Has Stalled 20 Years of Progress, Calls for Global Response to End the Pandemic
Report shows how economic damage has reinforced inequities and derailed achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals; spotlights countries innovating to meet challenges
SEATTLE, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020 – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today launched its fourth annual Goalkeepers Report, featuring new data showing how the ripple effects of COVID-19 have stopped 20 years of progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).
The report provides the most current global dataset for how the pandemic is affecting progress toward the Global Goals. It shows that by nearly every indicator, the world has regressed. Because of COVID-19, extreme poverty has increased by 7%. Vaccine coverage, a good proxy measure for how health systems are functioning, is dropping to levels last seen in the 1990s, setting the world back about 25 years in 25 weeks.
Economic damage from COVID-19 is reinforcing inequalities. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, racial and ethnic minority communities, and people living in extreme poverty. Around the world, women are facing an increased burden from rising demands in total unpaid care work and experiencing the majority of job losses. In the United States, the percentage of Black and Latinx people who say they cannot pay their rent is twice the percentage of white people.
Despite the bleak projections, Bill and Melinda Gates describe a path to ending the pandemic and resuming progress toward the Global Goals. In the report, which they co-author every year, they call on the world to collaborate on the development of diagnostics, vaccines, and treatment; manufacture tests and doses as quickly as possible; and deliver these tools equitably based on need rather than the ability to pay. There are currently several viable strategies to help achieve an equitable outcome, including the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the most serious collaborative effort to end the pandemic, which brings together proven organizations like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us some of the best of humanity: pathbreaking innovation, heroic acts by frontline workers, and ordinary people doing the best they can for their families, neighbors, and communities,” Bill and Melinda Gates write. “This is a shared global crisis that demands a shared global response.”…