In recent years, the world has been hit by a series of crises that pose additional challenges to sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, gaps in access to health, employment and education, food insecurity, persistent inequality and poverty, forced migration and the rising cost of living make it difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a region which, even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, was already suffering from slow economic growth and stagnation —or even decline— in its social development indicators.
As a result of the succession of crises within a relatively short period of time, the region has seen its indebtedness rise, its fiscal space shrink and its access to external financing become more constrained amid global financial system volatility. The more limited availability of resources and the challenges mentioned have been reflected in limited progress towards achievement of the SDGs.
More than halfway through the 15-year period agreed upon, ECLAC estimates that only 25% of the targets for which information is available appear to be on course to be met by 2030; progress towards 48% of the targets is in the right direction but too slow for them to be met, while for the remaining 27%, progress has gone into reverse. These data show that action is urgently needed to get back on track towards meeting the SDGs and, in particular, to counteract backsliding from some of the targets, boost progress towards those for which the trend is in the right direction but too slow, and ensure that targets on course to be met stay on track.