SDG 1 – No Poverty

Opening the topic with SDG 1 means diving straight into the complexity of the global systemic issues.

SDG 1 – No Poverty is on the foundation level of basic human needs, alongside topics such as solving hunger problems, ensuring health and wellbeing and giving access to education in a society with equal opportunities for everyone.

People that face extreme poverty (Defined as earning under 1.9$ per day) do not have poverty as the only issue. Because of lack of economic means, they are also often unable to have food on the table on a daily basis, have access to healthcare, education and basic clean water and sanitation. 

Due to the lack of financial means they cannot rise up and out of poverty, and they are often in fierce competition for the few jobs there might be, and the health care provided. This population is also at high risk of falling into worse conditions when other crises hit such as health, natural disasters or economic instability.

Poverty also hits disproportionately harder on women, elderly, disables, young people and certain religious beliefs, because they have less access to education, healthcare and are more prone to bias from other groups.

Progress on SDG 1

For the past decade the percentage of people living below the extreme poverty mark has been rapidly falling. The poverty rate was expected to drop to 7.9% in 2020 according to the World Bank, had Covid not set in. 

Instead, 119-124 million people  were pushed back into poverty due to the pandemic’s widespread implications on local and global economies.

According to World Bank, Oct 2020

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What are the things we can do as businesses and individuals?

Poverty isn’t for one business or one business to solve, – But there are many things you can do to create opportunities

  1. Read the SDGs underlying Targets, and the Indicators that are relevant for the targets that match your interest. Write them down so you have your research for later.
  2. Educate yourself on what poverty is, and who is hit hardest in your community.
  3. Create opportunities for people to earn a living or start a business.
  4. Purchase from your local farmers, producers and markets
  5. Ensure that you buy products from companies with good governance and ethical purchasing schemes in place to ensure that they pay their suppliers a fair price and ensure good working conditions for their employees.
  6. Vote for the local and national politicians who have sustainable development on the agenda
  7. Educate your friends and family about the necessity for conscious purchasing patterns, and resource consumption (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle)
  8. Businesses should ensure that they communicate openly and actively with their stakeholders, and share the vision and the steps they are taking when working responsibly with their business activities.

Businesses who wish to work strategically with the SDGs should endeavor to make strategic framework work with the positive and negative effects they have on the surrounding society with their production and business activities.

The Umbrella Institute also has an SDG Sprint accelerator to ensure that your team starts discussing the right parts of the SDGs as a collaboration that provides a solid base for business innovation and implementing sustainability into the core of the business culture and long-term vision.

On track to success? 

No Poverty is interlinked with 16 other goals that are not solved yet, and they feed back positively and negatively on each other.

As of now, it looks like there will still be 7% of the global population below the extreme poverty line in 2030, and that is also taking into account the growth in population and inflation.

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Not hitting the goal of No Poverty is worrying, because it means that at that point, most of the other SDGs will also fall behind due to the 7% of people not having access to the basic human necessities due to lack of funding and systemic access.


Feb 01 2022

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