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We Must Make the Next Seven Years Count -- SDG Summit 2023

Unless we act now, the 2030 Agenda will become an epitaph for a world that might have been.” -- António Guterres Secretary-General, United Nations

The world is at the halfway point in progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015. According to the recently released Global Sustainable Development Report 2023, the SDGs are far off track. Recent global crises have wiped out years of progress in a number of areas. Accelerated action is now needed to get back on track to reach the SDGs by 2030.

To that end, the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit will take place on September 18 and 19 during the UN General Assembly high-level week in New York. At the Summit, world leaders will review the state of the SDGs implementation and forge a rescue plan to mobilize and accelerate progress. This is an opportunity for the world’s nations to reignite a sense of hope and enthusiasm for the 2030 Agenda and recommitment to its goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023: Special Edition provides a powerful call to action, highlighting the existing gaps and urging the world to redouble its efforts. The report also emphasizes the potential for success through strong political will and the utilization of available technologies, resources, and knowledge. For a short and easy-to-follow overview of the main findings in the report, watch this 6-minute animated video.

It is possible to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, states a leading group of economic thinkers, scientists and changemakers.  The SDGs for All report, written for policy makers attending the SDG Summit, examines SDG progress in the light of five major turnarounds related to poverty, inequality, empowerment, food and energy, and offers solutions to meet the targets.

Improving Maternal Healthcare in Sierra Leone One Concrete Block at a Time

Women in Sierra Leone are breaking barriers to build a new maternity centre.  Sixty percent of the construction workers on site are women.

“It is for us, the women who will give birth here. That’s why we are putting in effort to build the hospital,” says Hawa Baryoh, 21, who works in quality control. “That is why you see plenty of women here,” she says proudly.

Click here to read more about this project and the difference it will make in maternal and neonatal health in Sierra Leone.

GRAN in the News!

Sandy Milakovic, GRAN Regional Leader for Ontario South/Southwest, was recently interviewed by Mississauga News about her volunteer work.  Sandy speaks about her involvement with GRAN and with the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers-to-Grandmothers group Oomama. In the interview, Sandy speaks to the current global hunger crisis and GRAN's Right to Food campaign.  Click here to read more.

Canada First Country to Contribute to New Global Biodiversity Framework Fund

“Biodiversity is the critical foundation of our well-being and the health of our planet. The new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund will play a key role in addressing biodiversity loss. It will address it in developing countries, where the impacts of nature loss are highest; it will address it in a gender-responsive manner, including through cross-sectoral partnerships; it will address it in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the original guardians of the lands and seas. Canada is making a significant contribution to this new fund and continuing to show our support for the GEF’s eight replenishment to ensure the protection of our planet’s biodiversity for generations to come.” -- Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development

Click here for more information about this initiative.

Closing the Gap between Surplus Food and Food Insecurity Across Canada

Founded in 2019 to fight hunger in the Greater Toronto Area, Be One to Give (B12Give) rescues surplus food from restaurants and businesses and redistributes it to local shelters and charities.  Since its inception, B12Give has diverted approximately 15,000 kilograms of food waste — enough to feed 25,000 people.  Click here to read more about B12Give and its mission to redistribute 100% of avoidable food waste across Canada by 2030.

World Refugee Day

Each year on June 20, the world celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. This year, World Refugee Day focuses on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees.

Including refugees in the communities where they have found safety after fleeing conflict and persecution is the most effective way to support them in restarting their lives and enable them to contribute to the countries hosting them. It’s also the best way to prepare them to return home and rebuild their countries, when conditions allow them to do so safely and voluntarily, or to thrive if they are resettled to another country.

"We Were Here" is an original documentary series produced by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and YouTube. In support of World Refugee Day, these short videos aim to challenge stereotypes and perceptions about refugees by focussing on what unites us rather than sets us apart - our shared passions.

Click here to access the video series.


Richer countries like Canada must deliver proactive aid says head of UN rural food agency

Rich countries need to get their priorities straight if they want to stop "massively" increasing their spending on reactive humanitarian aid, says Alvaro Lario, head of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.  He is urging Canada to consider tackling the root causes of some of the food crisis issues, rather than only trying to “put a Band-Aid on” regions facing conflicts over resources and forced migration.

"With the population growth we have, the trajectory is clear. So, unless you put some type of solution, in the form of much bigger investments and a much higher speed, we will end up in a much worse situation." 

Read more here.

Success at Nyarugusu: How one of the world’s largest refugee camps achieved zero maternal deaths in 2022

Progress in the global fight to safeguard the lives of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth has recently stagnated, and in 2020 an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occurred worldwide.

Against this backdrop, thanks to the deployment of just 15 skilled nurse-midwives and the training of 47 health workers, last year, 6,235 women and girls safely gave birth at Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. Not one of them died due to pregnancy or childbirth.  This is a remarkable achievement. 

Read more here.

Canada announces $84.6 million contribution to fight global malnutrition

Ending malnutrition is essential to improving and saving lives. Proper nutrition at the right time can mean the difference for a child learning in school, a girl pursuing her dreams in good health, or a woman participating fully in her work and community. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable, in particular, women and girls.” -- Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan

To mark World Nutrition Day on May 28, Canada's Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan has announced $84.6 million in funding to support the implementation of four new nutrition-specific projects by Canadian partner organizations.  Click here to read the full news release.

How Small-scale Farmers Can Save Africa's Degraded Lands

As Earth Day approaches, we want to celebrate hopeful stories such as the restoration of landscapes that have been degraded, and the many benefits this can provide for people, nature, and the climate.

Here is one such story from World Resources Institute:

Sadik Ibn Abdulai watched as overgrazing and unsustainable agricultural methods turned his family’s farmland in northern Ghana from lush fields to desert. He turned tragedy into triumph by starting Tilaa Ltd., a small business that helps women small-scale farmers grow resilient cashew trees and cultivate beehives beneath their shady canopies. The trees revitalize depleted soil, cool the air, and hold moisture in the ground, while the nut and honey harvests provide the farmers with steady incomes.
Sadik’s story isn’t just a heartwarming tale about improving his little corner of the world. Small, locally-led projects like Sadik’s are exactly what is needed to overcome Africa’s triple crises of climate change, ecosystem degradation, and poverty.  Read more here.


We Cannot Close Our Eyes

Nov 26, 2023

In a statement issued to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, called for leaders everywhere to take... Read more

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