Commentary [Volume 21 No. 3 (2021)]

Sustainable Development Goals

Here we are with Issue 98 of AJFAND. We have decided to start going forward with ten (10) ready papers to avoid delaying those which become ready early.

Let us remind ourselves of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. We know these will be revisited in September during the Food Systems summit. Goal number one is Getting Rid of Poverty in all its forms everywhere. But how do we define poverty? It is when an individual or a community lacks financial or other resources to meet their basic rights: shelter, food, clothing, water and so on. In other words, they are unable to enjoy life as we know it. All these rights are necessary to ensure a basic decent livelihood. In a world that has so much natural and acquired wealth, it does not make sense that we still have so many people living in abject poverty and most of these are the most vulnerable in society. Many of these may not have family to take care of them. They include orphans, widows, the sick, those with disability, those who are excluded from mainstream society for one reason or other. This means, therefore, that the state must make provisions such as social safety nets to address such. As nations come together during a Pandemic that has been running for more than a year, it would make sense to share how those falling through the cracks during the pandemic were taken care of. This could then inform the kind of declarations that can come out of the September 2021 meeting. The Pandemic may be here with us for a long time; as of now nobody knows where it is headed. This has to be a summit like no other. Issues need to be boldly discussed as we know that the pandemic has pushed many over the edge, globally, and we have increased poverty in our midst. What can we do? Is the question

Ruth Oniang'o
Editor-in-Chief, AJFAND


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