When the United Nations sat down to plan the Sustainable Development agenda and create goals that will help the world improve at economic, environmental and social levels, they came up with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In order for each of the goals to be achieved, public and private sectors need to partner to formulate strategies that will help achieve this. In this article, we will be assessing the role of public private partnership in achieving sustainable development goals and possibilities.
Eliminating Hunger and Fighting Poverty
The first and second goals for sustainable development are aimed at alleviating poverty in the world. Before the pandemic, the UN, in collaboration with many stakeholders and companies, had been working at lowering poverty statistics, and the 25 years of work done on poverty reduction was set aback by the pandemic, the war against Ukraine, and the rise in inflation. While a lot of countries have come up with ways to provide new short-term solutions such as grants and donations, this is the third year of the pandemic, and the pressure is mounting.
The historic decline in world poverty was recorded between 2015 and 2018, with the global poverty rate being 8.6% by 2018. In 2020, as the pandemic came about, there was a sharp increase from 8.3% in 2019 to 9.2%. In 2020, between 720 and 811 million people in the world were suffering from hunger – as many as 161 million more than in 2019. In the same year, over 30% – a stunning 2.4 billion people – were moderately or severely food insecure, lacking regular access to adequate food. This represents an increase of almost 320 million people in just one year.
Retaining Lives, Creating Healthy Solutions
Because pandemics often threaten the lives of many, and many countries generally suffer with struggling and poor healthcare systems, the UN has a sustainable development goal that is aimed at promoting healthy lives and well-being of everyone in the world. Covid-19 has significantly shortened life expectancy and placed visible pressure on healthcare sectors worldwide, all the while showcasing inequality among the private and public healthcare industries. While many argue that Covid-19 is the great equaliser, public sector healthcare professionals are feeling the pinch more due to increased traffic in healthcare facilities and the lack of resources and equipment to help those in need.
Access To Healthy Water And Sanitation
The battle to provide clean water and sanitation globally has been ongoing before the Covid-19 pandemic. Billions of people will lack access to these basic services in 2030 unless progress quadruples. Demand for water is rising due to rapid population growth, urbanisation and increasing water needs in the agriculture, industry, and energy sectors.
At DBSA, our mission is to advance development impact in South Africa and the continent by expanding access to development finance and effectively integrating and implementing sustainable development solutions to:
- improve the quality of life of people through the development of social infrastructure
- support economic growth through investments in economic infrastructure
- support regional integration
- promote sustainable use of scarce resources
How Partnerships Will Help
Public and private sectors can only do so much when driving change solo. There need to be partnerships from both sectors as well as avid government involvement. There also needs to be accountability measures taken in order to ensure that all the investments, funds, plans and strategies are executed in the agreed upon timelines. There has never been a more pivotal time to make changes to social, environmental and economic aspects of the world, more so in the least developed regions of the world. We all run a risk of mortality traits rising, economies crashing and the environment suffering if we do not partner to create better solutions. That is the benefit of having these partnerships.
When it comes to making the world a better place, there need to be realistic and achievable solutions that are governed by deadlines and timelines to ensure that all the underdeveloped regions of the world move to better statuses and rankings. Let’s all work together to ensure all 17 of the sustainable development goals are achieved by 2030. Together we can.