In 2015, 193 countries committed to 17 ambitious goals—goals designed to promote and measure progress toward equity and development worldwide.
These goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were a renewed vision by the United Nations following 2000’s Millennium Development Goals and provide a global benchmark for critical, sustainable progress. Achieving them will require the commitment and creativity of nations and organizations alike, and the 169 targets outlined within the goals are intended to guide our world towards a future free from poverty, disease, and hunger.
At Opportunity International, sustainability is a key tenet of our work. We are proud to do our part to help advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Through our daily work serving families living in extreme poverty, we have seen firsthand the progress made toward these benchmarks. Programs like Education Finance, Agriculture Finance, Digital Financial Services, and more are helping us get closer to achieving these goals by 2030.
In 2017, we explored how Opportunity International intersects with nine of these goals through a series of essays—and the lessons learned then are more relevant than ever.
This year, as we look back on 50 years of impact, join us as we revisit these essential milestones:
Goal #1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
“Together with organizations and initiatives around the world, we spend each day helping amazing people break the $1.90 barrier.”
Goal #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
“The majority of those struggling with hunger live in rural regions where they depend upon agriculture to survive.”
Goal #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
“We know that health is foundational. Without good health and well-being, people cannot work, go to school, contribute to their families, or transform their lives and communities.”
Goal #4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
“Education is the most powerful tool we have to fight poverty around the world. Our goal is to make education accessible, high-quality, and sustainable for all students around the world.”
Goal #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
“For those of us working in and supporting international development initiatives, we know that investing in and empowering women and girls is popular and ubiquitous.”
Goal #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
“Water and sanitation are foundational elements to a flourishing society. Without clean water and sufficient sanitation, health, education and livelihoods all suffer.”
Goal #9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
“Physical, technological, economic and educational infrastructure are critical for progress and success. In order to thrive, people must have access to markets, technology, banking, roads, water, education and more.”
Goal #10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
“It is not just the poorest countries that need to make progress, it is also the poorest within every country. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and. Within countries, there are significant discrepancies between the richest and poorest, and even between the poor and the ultra-poor.”
Goal #16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels
“In order to end extreme poverty, people must first feel safe in their homes and free from violence.”