The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a mission of “creating a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.” Since its initial launch in 2000, the foundation has provided billions worth of grants to assist with the eradication of various global issues. More specifically, the Foundation focuses on the fight against global poverty, disease and inequity. To measure global progress regarding these objectives, annually, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation releases a ‘Goalkeepers Report,’ a global address outlining the progress on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The most recent release of the highly anticipated Goalkeepers Report features 18 key data indicators regarding the progress made on specific subsets of these goals. Here are four ways the 2022 Goalkeepers Report proves global poverty is declining and, conversely, that equity is rising.
4 Ways Global Poverty is Reducing
- Universal Health Coverage. SDG 3.8 aims for “universal health coverage” by 2030. The earliest data regarding this SGD goes back to 1990 when only about 45% of people had a form of health coverage. Since then, the goal has seen a steady positive upward trend, with the exception of a slight dip in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, in the year 2021, approximately 60% of people worldwide had health coverage. This upward trend exemplifies great promise in regard to access to health care for all. Most importantly, with this progression, unexpected medical payments will no longer be a primary cause of poverty.
- Under-5 Mortality. Part of SDG 3.2 aims to reduce under-5 mortality rates to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030 (SDG 3.2). According to the Gates Foundation, “communicable and infectious diseases continue to be leading causes of deaths.” In 1990, the global under-5 mortality rate stood at 86 children per 1,000 live births. Since then, the world has noted progress as a result of steadily improving health care worldwide. Most recently, in the year 2021, the number of under-5 childhood deaths stood at 36 out of every 1,000 children born.
- Neglected Tropical Diseases. SDG 3.3 aims to “end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases” by 2030. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), neglected tropical diseases cause about 200,000 deaths a year and lead to a loss of “19 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)” annually. The Goalkeepers Report measures this progress in terms of the prevalence of the top 15 neglected tropical diseases per 100,000 persons. In 1990, neglected tropical diseases impacted 43,800 humans globally out of every 100,000. Since then, the world has made great progress as the number of humans affected has decreased more than threefold, now standing at a figure of approximately 12,375. Neglected tropical diseases have decreased dramatically as a result of increased access to health care and a greater focus on water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives.
- Extreme Poverty. SDG 1.1 aims to eliminate extreme poverty globally. The Goalkeepers Report measures this progress according to the percentage of the global population surviving on less than $1.90 USD per day. The earliest data regarding this SDG goes back to 2015 when a jarring 10.06% of the population lived below the extreme poverty line. That equates to more than 730 million people. Since then, the goal has seen progress with the exemption of 2020. During the pandemic, the state of extreme global poverty became notably severe as a result of soaring inflation and unemployment. Consequently, the 2020 global poverty rate of 9.21% showed degression comparable with the 2017 rate of 9.11%. Fortunately, as the global economy rebounds, extreme poverty is also reducing. By April 2022, the global extreme poverty rate stood at 8.6%, according to the World Bank.
Despite all of the global economic, social and political turmoil over the past years, the 2022 Goalkeepers Report proves that global poverty is declining. This progress provides hope not only for poverty but for all global issues in the coming future.
– Aarika Sharma