Getting global development back on track: Focus and start at home
Since 2019, realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has gone from patchy to off-track as a result of Covid-19, global price shocks caused by the war in Ukraine and accelerating climate change. About 100 million people were thrown back into extreme poverty and hundreds of millions more face reduced health, livelihood and income prospects for the rest of their lives. The climate change agenda also took a backseat. Long-term global effects will be profound in terms of growing migration flows, further climate degradation and, likely, more conflict, authoritarianism and populism. Putting global development back on track requires focusing on fewer priorities rather than the entire SDG agenda, namely those with the highest negative impact on developing countries: conflict, climate change and inequality. Addressing these problems primarily requires middle- and high-income countries to reduce their contribution to climate deterioration and inequality at home, and to increase their support for conflict resolution efforts elsewhere at a faster rate. While it may seem counterintuitive, the greatest development contributions that developed countries can make lie at home.