The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 1

Goal 1 – End poverty in all its forms everywheresdg1

The first goal of the SDGs broadly addresses the issue of poverty, moving away from the more specific language of the MDGs, which only targeted “extreme poverty.” The intention was to make the goal applicable to all countries, including developed countries, by addressing all different types of poverty rather than just focusing on those individuals living on less than $1.25 a day. For Africa, there is still work to be done in terms of achieving this goal. Despite advances throughout the course of the MDGs, Africa remains as the poorest continent in the world, with 46.8% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa living under the poverty line according to World Bank statistics from 2012.

Aside from dealing directly with poverty, this goal also focuses on social protection and equal access to economic resources to help protect those in the population who are poor or vulnerable (see proposed targets below). In Tanzania, for example, this refers to policies such as the National Social Security Fund and would require working to ensure such schemes are reaching a wide range of the population with adequate resources. This first goal also refers to other issues of inclusion and resilience, especially for the poor, making it a centrepiece of sorts for all the SDGs.

Proposed targets:

 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day

1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions

1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable

1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance

1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters

1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions

1.b Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions

Note: In simplified terms, 1.1 – 1.5 are the targets set to achieve the goal, 1.a-1.b is what needs to be done in order to be able to achieve these targets.

Africa’s Position

The Common African Position is the product of the High-Level Committee of African Heads of State and Government established at the African Union Summit in 2013 to identify Africa’s priorities, and a common position for Africa,  for the post-2015 Development Agenda.  This was achieved by taking into account information collected from national and regional stakeholders, African multilateral institutions and selected pertinent UN organizations and agencies. This was published in 2014.

Specifically regarding the eradication of poverty, the publication outlines that:

“This will require the empowerment of all people, including those living in vulnerable situations (including women, children, the elderly, youth, people with disabilities, rural populations, displaced persons and migrants), through inclusive growth that creates decent jobs, improved access to social protection and through the promotion of measures that ensure that no individual remains below the poverty line. In this regard, we commit to ensure that no person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.”

For more information on the Common African Position, click here

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