Global Goals: Focus on Fragility

    In 2015, world leaders signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called the Global Goals. They are a new set of global benchmarks for progress agreed on by all countries in the United Nations. By 2030, the world needs to make a substantial improvement in for instance education, peace, economic growth and protection of the environment.

    All countries will be held responsible for living up to the promise they make by agreeing on these Global Goals.

    The overarching goal is SDG1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere. No one should be left behind.

    Cordaid and its partners contributed to shaping the SDGs, along with the Catholic networks of which we are a part. We aim for a peaceful, fair and environmentally sustainable world. Together, we can put a stop to poverty and hunger, inequality and climate change. Every person has to contribute to this aim.

    The 9 most important SDGs for Cordaid are:

    One out of eight people worldwide suffers from persistent hunger. Each day is a struggle for them to find enough nutrition to lead an active and worthy life. > More on this topic


    Every two minutes, a mother dies during either pregnancy or childbirth. Cordaid works on better and accessible healthcare in the poorest countries. > More on this topic


    Poverty and conflict have disastrous effects on a child’s development. All children are entitled to a caring home and adequate education. > More on this topic


    Cordaid strongly believes women’s rights and participation play a vital role in the in the process of international development. > More on this topic


    Limited access to clean water and sanitation threatens the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. > More on this topic


    In fragile areas, Cordaid advances private sector development to help rebuild livelihoods, create jobs and generate income. > More on this topic

    Cordaid builds resilient communities in disaster-prone areas by helping them develop their capacity to mitigate the impact and reduces the risks of hazards. > More on this topic

    Establishing security and building justice in fragile or conflict-affected regions means starting at the community level. > More on this topic


    A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. > More on this topic

    Cordaid focuses on fragile areas

    Progress in countries such as South Sudan, Afghanistan and Congo DRC has been seriously affected by conflict, insecurity and lack of solid public institutions. According to the OECD, most fragile states and economies have failed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Absolute poverty is growing and in some areas, it seems inescapable. Partners of Cordaid work under very difficult and often threatening circumstances. Cordaid focuses especially on these fragile states because we want to help where the needs are the most urgent.

    To be able to achieve SDG 1 (Leave no one behind) it is necessary to step up our efforts. Without this focus on fragility, we risk undermining development in many countries and reversing the gains that have been made over the past decades. This is the first time that ‘inclusive, peaceful societies’ are mentioned as the basis of development (SDG 16).

    Cordaid engages with vulnerable communities and the judicial and security systems that should serve them. In the world’s most fragile and challenging countries, we want to help strengthen security and justice mechanisms, and at the same time improve people’s knowledge of the formal systems and how they can access them. Cordaid is also facilitating community dialogue. In that way, people can express their needs and undertake locally led initiatives.

    >More on our work in Security and Justice

    A promise is a promise: also for the Global Goals!

    The Sustainable Development Goals are a promise to the world. And promises must be kept. Simone Filippini, Cordaid’s CEO, calls on world leaders to show courage and leadership in living up to their promises: “Without a focus on fragility, with ‘big bucks’ and a coherent policy, the Global Goals will remain what they are now: beautiful paperwork. But you can’t put a fire out with paperwork, and you can’t feed anyone with it.”

    15 years is a long period of time, but we have to keep looking ahead. Together with governments, businesses, NGOs, we have to aim to reach all goals. We have to contribute to the implementation and to call each other to account. True success will only be possible when world leaders change their attitudes and commit to making a difference, on a global scale. The time to act is now and it is urgent that we do so – or we risk destabilizing the planet and its people, plunging billions of people into an uncertain future.

    Simone Filippini: “To the 193 world leaders who sign the 17 global goals: show courage, show real leadership and start repairing the flaws in the global power system. Be coherent, and don’t take with one hand what you’ve given with the other one. Stop activities which deprive the world’s poorest of their livelihood and which keep them fragile. There’s no better moment than the present!”

    > More about Cordaid’s focus on fragility