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Many countries off-track in achieving SDGs, international dev. at a gridlock

Despite huge progress made earlier in the century in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, progress has plateaued and in many countries there is a downward turn meaning they are not on track in achieving the goals.

This is according to the 2023-24 Human Development Report (HDR) unveiled on Tuesday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Malawi Government.

UNDP Resident Representative Fenella Frost said the report lays out the challenges in international development with the key message that currently development is at a gridlock.

She expressed concern over this noting that the SDGs are there to help more men and women across the globe realise their full potential and to benefit equally from social and economic services.

“What we’ve seen is the whole world was affected by COVID-19 but essentially there is two worlds; rich countries that have managed to bounce back now from the COVID shock but in developing countries including Malawi, unfortunately that progress hasn’t been seen so we’re worse well off now than we were before COVID.

Frost: We’re worse well off now than we were before COVID. Pics courtesy of SIMO Entertainment & Promotions

“This report provides some recommendations on how to regain momentum towards achieving the Sustainable development goals. That matters because the world is going to come together in September to look together at how to make further progress on the SDGs and I think this report lays out some of the recommendations on how to do that”.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nancy Tembo called for collective efforts to move in one direction in addressing the challenges highlighted in the report rallying Malawians on the need to take responsibility in advancing the country’s development agenda.

Tembo observed that since 2018, the global development index began to decline into 2019-2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and later on the Russia-Ukraine war.

She described it as a big blow for Malawi which was later hit by Cyclones thus taking away resources from the development budget in order to address the needs of those affected.

Tembo: We need to find a formula to relieve countries such as Malawi of the debt burden

The Minister said unless the debt burden is addressed, there’s very little space for development hence appealed to partners to address the issue.

“We need to find a formula to relieve countries such as Malawi of the debt burden but also as a government we’re doing something. We’re emphasizing on agriculture and the government had made headway in agriculture; we’ve seen production in commercial farms grow this year and we hope that as we move towards next year this is going to be the norm that the mega farms are going to grow.

“We’re working on tourism, we’re also working on mining and it’s our hope that once we develop, these areas should generate revenue that can feed into the development agenda of this country.”

Gladys Nthenda

A journalist with over 10 years all round media experience in Television, print, radio, and online platforms with a particular interest in health and climate change reporting. I love writing stories on vulnerable and marginalized societies to bring about the necessary change in their lives. Loves travelling, reading news related articles and listening to all genres of music. emailg79@gmail.com

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