Over the last few decades, remarkable progress has been achieved across a range of human development indicators. As of 2019, a growing number of children were accessing school, healthcare and clean drinking water and surviving to see their fifth birthday.
There were significant signs of hope and an impressive number of NGOs, civil society groups, corporates, UN agencies, academic institutions and governments committed to build from these gains to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
But, to paraphrase Naomi Klein, COVID-19 changed everything.
While COVID-19 is sweeping the globe, so much of this progress is now being undermined. As of today, COVID has infected 15 million people, but the devastation is much greater than those numbers alone. COVID-19 means hundreds of vaccination campaigns have been stalled, so we will see a rise in diseases like measles and polio. Malaria programs are also on hold, with malaria deaths set to increase by 102%. For every month of lockdown, we will lose 82,000 more people to tuberculosis. And just as millions more girls were finally accessing education, so many are now stuck at home without access to the internet or other learning opportunities.
While COVID-19 impacts everyone, it is especially devastating for poor communities. COVID-19 will set back years of development progress.
An important campaign has just been launched to tell this story to the Australian public and our elected political representatives. The #EndCOVIDForAll campaign shows how the pandemic is pushing 70 million people into extreme poverty, including millions of men, women and children throughout our region.
RESULTS is a proud partner of the campaign alongside a large number of international development, human rights and global health organisations. We believe Australia can and must play a role in supporting vulnerable countries to adequately respond to and recover from the pandemic, because it not over until its over for everyone.
Join the campaign by signing the pledge today.