SDG progress has been set back, and the outlook faces uncertainty given the cumulative and amplified impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change. This brief examines the channels through which these three shocks are impacting the SDGs and their implications for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through recurrent crises.
- COVID-19 is estimated to have caused nearly 15 million deaths globally and brought the economy and people’s lives to a standstill for long periods in many parts of the world.
- The war in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian emergency, accompanied by a global food and energy shock, upending a fragile economic recovery from the pandemic.
- Climate change continues unabated, increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events across the world, besides resulting in longer-term damage such as prolonged drought and rising sea levels.
Crises such as these amplify one another and weaken the capacity of countries to respond. The effects of the three recurrent crises are exacerbated by other more localized ones, including droughts and floods, continuous conflicts in various parts of the world, and smaller outbreaks such as avian influenza. This confluence puts countries in a perpetual crisis mode, with limited room to recover and invest in sustainable development.