The 2020 edition of the Gates Foundation's Goalkeepers Report employs novel data collection methods to reveal impacts of COVID-19 on 18 SDG indicators, using contemporary estimates generated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The report cites a finding that twice as many people could die from COVID-19 if rich countries buy up the first 2 billion doses of vaccine instead of making sure they are distributed in proportion to the global population.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released the 2020 edition of its Goalkeepers Report, tracking 18 of the SDGs’ global indicators. This year’s report employs novel data collection methods to reveal impacts of COVID-19 on SDG progress in these areas.
The Foundation produces a Goalkeepers Report every year, with a plan to do so through 2030 to track progress on the SDGs, highlight successes, and inspire leaders around the world to accelerate their efforts. The latest report, released on 15 September 2020, assesses the state of targets under SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 3 (good health and wellbeing), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 6 (clean water and sanitation), and 8 (decent work and economic growth).
The future is not a zero-sum contest in which winners win only when losers lose.
In their introduction, Bill and Melinda Gates note that after years of celebrating forward progress in fighting poverty and disease, this year “we’ve regressed” on the vast majority of the 18 SDG indicators tracked in the report. Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman writes, “As a world, we’ve become used to fewer children dying every year, fewer families struggling to put food on the table, more girls going to school, and more women surviving childbirth. COVID-19 has stopped that progress in its tracks.”
The report begins by reviewing the damage being caused by the pandemic. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington generated “contemporary estimates” for the report, using data available through July 2020.
Discussing how a collaborative response should look, the authors note that governments are investing ahead of time in large batches of selected vaccine candidates, which they hope will “win” in clinical trials. However, “most will lose.” The authors recommend that countries minimize their risk by investing jointly in a large portfolio of candidates. They should also work together to increase their vaccine manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible.
In addition, wealthier governments should work to ensure that the eventual vaccines are made available widely, not only in their respective countries. Otherwise, “they will be extending the life of the pandemic everywhere.” The report cites a finding that twice as many people could die from COVID-19 if “rich countries buy up the first 2 billion doses of vaccine instead of making sure they are distributed in proportion to the global population.”
The report concludes that the severity and length of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on whether businesses and governments “really believe that the future is not a zero-sum contest in which winners win only when losers lose. It is a cooperative endeavor in which we all make progress together.” [Publication: COVID-19: A Global Perspective: 2020 Goalkeepers Report]