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Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica lead Latin America in sustainable development progress

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Climate action is the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in which Latin America has improved the most, while Innovation is the worst.

Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica with best Sustainable Development Goals progress in the region
Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica with best Sustainable Development Goals progress in the region. (Photo internet reproduction)

In 2015, the world outlined a series of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, approved by the United Nations (UN) jointly with governments and entrepreneurs, to be in a better position to face future challenges.

Although the pandemic has delayed the fulfillment of some of the goals, in several Latin American countries the pace was stepped up so as not to compromise the goals amid the crisis, as occurred in Chile, which has the best performance in the region on this issue, followed by Uruguay and Costa Rica. Overall, Latin America achieved a compliance score of 63.1 points.

According to the 2020 SDG Index, presented by the SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Los Andes University and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the results were not encouraging before the pandemic.

The indicators analyzed showed that the pace of progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030 was not as expected and, should this trend persist, the goals would not be met within the next 50 years.

The study showed that, under these harsh conditions, the countries with the best performance toward achieving these goals in the region are Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Chile, with a 73.68 score, is among the countries with the greatest progress in poverty reduction; quality education; water and sanitation; industry, innovation and infrastructure; marine life; and justice, peace and strong institutions.

In the case of Uruguay, with a 71.50 score, the report highlights the progress made in the goals of eliminating hunger, clean energy and reducing inequality.

However, although the region registers an overall positive outlook, there are 3 countries ranked below the average progress for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guyana, Guatemala and Haiti, which ranked 22, 23 and 24, respectively, failed to score more than 58 points in the overall table and are lagging behind in meeting 11 of the 17 goals.

Colombia, which ranked 9th among the countries in the region, achieved a total score of 64.78 points and progressed in 4 of the 17 indicators. The country achieved 80 points in SDG 1, which corresponds to poverty reduction; 96 points in clean water and sanitation; 86 points in creating sustainable cities; and 90 points in climate action.

“The way we face this new challenge will largely depend on political leadership to recover the economy, with sustainable development as its main priority,” said the rector of the Los Andes University, Alejandro Gaviria.

According to the expert, humankind’s challenge is to consolidate economic growth, reduce inequalities and address the global environmental crisis.

However, UN projections suggest that the impact of the pandemic will not only delay the achievement of these goals, but will also push 71 million people back into extreme poverty, which will also hinder the eradication of hunger and, above all, governments’ ability to ensure equal and equitable access to work and education opportunities.

Many of these people are workers in the informal economy, whose incomes plunged 60% in the first month of the crisis that erupted in March 2020 and left 90% of the region’s children unable to access formal education.

While climate action is the goal progressing the most in Latin America, there are still 3 sectors lagging behind, notably industry, innovation and infrastructure, with a score of 25.1; reduction of inequalities, with 34.4 points; and peace, justice and strong institutions, with 46.1 points.

Concerns about access to nutrition in the world

Eradicating hunger alone will not ensure that all people have access to sufficient nutritious food. An estimated 25.9% of the world’s population, 2 billion people, were impacted by a moderate or severe food insecurity in 2019, an increase of 22.4% compared to 2014. People experiencing moderate food insecurity are often unable to eat a healthy and balanced diet on a regular basis due to limited income.

Source: La Republica

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