UNDP stands ready to support The Gambia as it develops its plans for making the SDGs a reality

Sep 29, 2015

Across the globe, world leaders adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are essentially an agreed vision to put people and planet on a sustainable path by 2030. This will form the bedrock of a new development agenda that can set the world on a course of action to end poverty, transform lives and protect the planet.
In The Gambia, we are looking forward to continue our support for strengthening national capacities for inclusive growth and sustainable development within the framework of good governance and increased citizens’ participation; and these new Global Goals will help us achieve that. The Goals spell out how we work together to promote dignity, equality, justice, shared prosperity and well-being for all, while protecting the environment. We are the first generation that can end poverty and the last one that can avoid the worst effects of climate change.
I have learned from my work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that setting goals and targets work. For example, reducing poverty by half is a national target for The Gambia.  Although this goal is not yet fully met, the country has reduced poverty significantly over the years; from about 58% in 2003 to around 34% in 2011/2012 under the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) of USD 1.25/day (The Gambia Demographic Health Survey, 2013). UNDP, in collaboration with other UN agencies and development partners, has been supporting the national statistical system in tracking and monitoring poverty in the country, and in improving data quality for informed policy decision and better reporting. We look forward to continuing our work in this area in the years to come. 
Millions of people’s lives have improved due to concerted efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which serve as the foundation for the next global development agenda. MDGs targets have already been met on reducing poverty, increasing access to improved drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary school. The Gambia’s progress in these areas has been remarkable - the country is on track to achieve MDGs 2 and 4, and is making significant strides towards meeting MDGs 1, 3, 5 and 6.  
Over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half. Globally, the maternal mortality ratio dropped by nearly half. More people than ever before are receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infection. More than six million deaths from malaria were averted due to substantial expansion of malaria interventions. Enormous progress has been made, showing the value of a unifying agenda, underpinned by goals and targets. Yet despite this progress, the indignity of poverty has not been ended for all.
That is why these 17 new Goals will continue this journey towards progress for everyone that aims to go even farther to focus the world on ending poverty, hunger and major health problems, as well as break new ground by setting goals and targets on inequalities, economic growth, decent jobs, energy, climate change, and peace and justice, among others.
I believe we will achieve substantial results by taking on the many interconnected challenges we face together. Taking action to achieve the Global Goals and building greater shared prosperity is in everybody’s best interest and provides enormous investment opportunities that will benefit all people and the planet. Success in this new ambitious agenda for global action will be driven by leaders, governments and people, especially at the local levels. The Goals should matter to all of us, and we all have a shared responsibility for our future.
Let’s focus on our shared problems and work on overcoming the common problems all countries face. With new, interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that apply to all, we can go much further to end all forms of poverty, ensure no one is left behind, tackle unsustainable practices and chart a dignified future for all people in all countries.
UNDP stands ready to support The Gambia as it develops its plans for making the SDGs a reality. We will work closely with the Government, private sector, civil society and many other partners in The Gambia to strive to achieve lasting results for our people and planet.
Contact information

For information, contact:

Cecilia Senghore , Communications Focal Point on cecilia.senghore@undp.org 

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