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THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS By Oladosu Adenike



THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
                                                By Oladosu Adenike
Coronavirus known as COVID-19 is one of the greatest public health threats of the twenty first (21st century) century turning our world upside down: countries, societies, families and individuals are affected in so many ways. This deadly virus has wrecked havoc on two sectors of our public life: health and wealth. Our world is dealing with a crisis of monumental proportions. The novel coronavirus is wrecking havoc across the globe, affecting lives and likelihoods with the increasing cases of mortality worldwide: bringing about the negative impacts on the global economy and sustainable development. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that our world has entered into a recession while the full economic impact of the crisis is difficult to predict at an estimate of US $2trillion.
            Furthermore, the virus has fundamentally exposed the weakness in our global system especially the economy. Invariably, the crisis has shown the inter-relatedness of poverty, weak health system and lack of global cooperation exacerbate crisis. Undoubtly, while it is severely undermining prospects for achieving SDG 3 (good health and well being) by 2030, it is also having far-reaching effects on all other SDGs. Also, the broader impact of crisis on achieving the sustainable development goals is evident in its troubling situation. UNESCO estimates that some 1.25 billion students are affected posing a serious challenge to the attainment of SDGs Goal 4 (quality education); and the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates about 25 million people could lose their jobs, with those in informal employment suffering most from lack of social protection.
            In most cases, in many parts of the world, the pandemic and its effects are exacerbated by the crisis in achieving clean water and sanitation target (SDG6), weak economic growth and absence of decent work (SDG8), pervasive inequalities (SDG 10), and above all extreme poverty (SDG1). At the same time, the increase in sexual violence is extreme affecting the 12 critical areas of progress the Beijing Women Platform for Action and Declaration aimed for in closing the gender inequality gap. Sadly, this pandemic happens at a time when the SDGs were gaining attraction and a significant number of countries are making good progress--the submission of our Nationally Determined contributions, the further commitments on climate action postponed for year -COP26, among others. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global shock that magnifies the impact of inequality, hitting the poor the hardest. In developed countries, frontline workers in the service economy are among the most exposed to the virus and least able to absorb its financial impact. Unmistakably, the hardest hit will be the poor in developing countries where already struggling workers will not have the benefit of social safety and stimulus package in some cases. Thus, all the Sustainable Development Goals are interconnected and progress in one can lead to the progress in another goal.
Green Recovery: A Pathway post COVID-19
            To every crisis or pandemic, there is always a pathway of recovery. Such recoveries must undo the effects of the virus and building a future, less of fear. Undoubtedly, the coronavirus has undone the positive impacts of SDG goals. Considerably, a sustainable world is not achievable without stemming the tides of climate change. It is well known that a sustainable reduction in global emission is key to fighting climate change. The present lockdown has brought about drastic reduction in global emission. In Nigeria, this season is usually dry and hot with increasing temperature but now we are experiencing strong wind followed by rainfall in some region which is not sustainable. Global development post COVID-19 needs a sustainable growth and economic development; hence the need to partner with private sector and Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) involved in sustainable projects.  In Nigeria, the present administration has set-up an economic sustainability committee headed by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo to tackle the negative economic impact of corona virus since Nigeria is reeling from the download trending of the price of crude oil in the international market.  Green recovery entails investment in green projects such as; clean water sources, clean environment and renewable sources of energy. According to International Labour Organization (ILO); ‘green economy can enable million of people to overcome poverty and deliver improved livelihoods’.  Added that Paris climate agreement will creates 24 million jobs by 2030.  
            Nevertheless, government all over the world has recognized the needs to set-up sustainable projects and investment post COVID-19. It is no doubt that post COVID-19 will change the perception or our way of life. Hence we need to sustain our life and the world in general.

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