Reduced inequalities is the tenth of the life changing goals outlined by the United Nations Development program (UNDP) in 2015, with the motive of ending extreme poverty, giving people better healthcare and achieving equality for women and environmental protection. Inequality refers to the gaps between individuals with regards to accessibility to resources, economy, social prestige and so on. Reduced inequalities as a global goal expects to ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection.
The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated all forms of inequalities that existed. In response to this situation, the United Nations has initiated a movement named the UN Covid 19 Response and Recovery Fund in order to fund and assist the low and the middle-income countries and vulnerable groups to face the disproportionately bearing socio- economic impacts of the pandemic. Here through this article, the contributions of the European Union, United Arab Emirates, China, Japan along with Sri Lanka are discussed to illustrate how countries work on behalf of the goal “Reduced Inequalities”.
The European Union
The European Union (EU) has initiated and taken part in several regional as well as cross regional projects. The Research facility on inequalities is an initiative of the European Union Commission implemented by the French Development Agency (FDA). The aim of the initiative is to seek to enhance knowledge and understanding of economic and social inequalities. In addition, the European Union has shown its partnership in the Consultation Group to Assist the Poor which is a global initiative to accelerate financial inclusion in the partner countries. Moreover, the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is another project launched in 2015 to address root cases for destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration across North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Sahe and Lake Chad.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The cabinet of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decreed to put the SDGs at the heart of the government development plans starting from the 2017 January. The strategies and the operations are to be implemented both at federal and local levels. In order to make the procedure more successful, a National Committee on SDGs has been appointed under the contribution of 15 federal level ministries and councils.
China is going to implement each SDG goal by means of a national plan under the title, “Millennium Development Goals”. Under Reduced Inequalities, China plans to advance reforms of its own household registration system to mark basic public services equally accessible to all and thereby rural people are encouraged to merge with the urban life.
Japan, committed to their key principle of “no one is left behind”, has introduced a set of projects both domestically as well as internationally on behalf of the goal “Reduced inequalities”. Domestically under the “Plan for Dynamic Engagement of all Citizens” the government has mainly concentrated on improving the female workforce. The government of Japan aims at facilitating the non- regular workers of the country to work anywhere at any time according to their convenience. Especially women over thirty years are more likely to work from home managing their domestic chores and rearing children. The Japanese government helps companies to analyze the circumstances they face when hiring the female workforce and formulate their own plans for improving female workers to work in their companies. Similarly, “Database of Companies Promoting Women’s Participation and Advancement” is a government funded database for non-regular working women to find employment.
Since 2015, Japan has been supporting the achievement of SDG goals in developing countries under these guideline principles;
- Educational cooperation to achieve inclusive, equitable and quality learning
- Educational cooperation for industrial, science and technology human resource development and sustainable social economic development
- Establishment and expansion of international/regional work for educational cooperation.
After the three-decade separatist war, Sri Lanka amidst a lot of challenges has begun to transform itself towards a sustainable and resilient society. Sri Lanka has been incorporating the SDGs into its national policy framework. The most important step in this behalf is the establishment of the Sustainable Development Act in 2017 as a legal framework to implement SDGs as an improved policy. Under this, the Sustainable Council has been established to document the policies. In order to finance the goals Sri Lanka is attempting at increasing the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Furthermore, the government of Sri Lanka mainstreams annually on quality education, healthcare, agriculture, climate resilience, gender inequality through the government budget. For gender equality Sri Lanka shares costs of maternity benefits, facilitates childcare services by business and schools and encourages partnership of women on corporate boards.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are expected to be completed by 2030. According to the International Law almost 2 in 10 people are reported to have personally experienced discriminations at least once in their life. Even at hardships, countries carry on their own policies to achieve their maximum in each SDG initiative.
– Rtr. Hasanjalee Adikari
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