The Gates Foundation’s 5th annual Goalkeepers Report is out, and it zooms in on how the pandemic has derailed progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Released yesterday ahead of the UN General Assembly, which starts today, the report calls for ramped-up investment in health infrastructure worldwide to address yawning resource gaps in vaccine research, development, and manufacturing capacity.
Shocking stat: In the first half of 2021, all of Africa administered about the same number of COVID-19 vaccines as the state of California, despite having 30X the population, Devex reports.
Other key findings, according to CNBC:
- The pandemic pushed an additional 31 million people into “dire poverty” and backpedaled progress toward eliminating poverty by 4 years
- Global rates for routine childhood vaccinations, fell last year by 7%, to levels not seen since 2005.
Bright spot: “Bold action,” including campaigns encouraging people to keep up with routine immunizations, prevented a predicted 25-year setback for vaccines.
A warning: “We face the very real risk that in the future, wealthy countries and communities will begin treating COVID-19 as yet another disease of poverty,” Bill Gates said.