The next phase of UNDP’s COVID-19 crisis response is designed to help decision-makers look beyond recovery, towards 2030, making choices and managing complexity and uncertainty in four main areas: governance, social protection, green economy, and digital disruption. It encompasses our role in technically leading the UN’s socio-economic response.
Tipping Points: Choices shaping the post-COVID future
Human development – the combined measure of the world’s education, health, and living standards – is on course to decline in 2020, for the first time since measurement began.
With up to 100 million more people being pushed into extreme poverty in 2020, 1.4 billion children affected by school closures, and more than 400 thousand confirmed deaths from COVID-19 as of early June, the pandemic is hitting all human development dimensions hard, in all countries, almost at the same time. Governments and societies face unprecedented policy, regulatory and fiscal choices as they act to save lives and set a course for a sustainable future. The choices made today, if made well, could be the tipping points that transform our societies and our planet for the better.
A forward-looking response to COVID-19 could end an era where one third of all food produced is wasted while 1 in 10 people goes hungry, where 10 times more is spent on fossil fuel subsidies than on renewable energy, and where more than two billion people live in fragility, conflict or violence. It could transform the lives of those who were out of school, out of work, offline and off the grid, even before the virus spread.
UNDP has identified seven such tipping points, ranging from the renewed pursuit of peace encapsulated in the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire, to decisive moves to tackle exclusion, racism and gender inequalities.
Taken together, they offer a pathway beyond recovery, towards 2030 – to turn the greatest reversal of human development into an historic leap forward, with the Sustainable Development Goals as our compass.