Each year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation publishes their Goalkeeper’s Report, a comprehensive evaluation of the year’s progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN in 2015. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting life in every part of our world and we are seeing, first hand, how critical it is to leverage ingenuity and strength at the local level. The core tenets of The Hunger Project’s work are as relevant as ever. Our long-term community-led projects promote strong systems, local leadership, and resiliency which empower communities to manage these changes, especially in times of crisis.
Despite improving on all 18 Sustainable Development Goals in the past few years, COVID-19 has eaten away at progress made in almost all of them. In fact, the Goalkeeper’s Report asserts that we could already have lost 25 years worth of developmental progress in only 25 weeks.
The purpose of the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeeper’s Report is twofold: analyze the detrimental effect of the pandemic to global development goals and advocate for an internationally collaborative approach. In the words of the Gates Foundation, “there is no such thing as a national solution to a global crisis.” From rampant disease, widespread economic devastation, and increased restrictions on women’s freedoms, the communities of the world need holistic support to leverage their skills and strengths. The “Innovating with Equity in Mind” strategy the Gates Foundation calls for is strongly aligned with THP’s core tenets and the work we are doing to combat the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, we know that community leadership is even more important right now as local leaders are best placed to understand the needs of their communities and how to reach the most vulnerable.