The United Nations (UN) and 189 countries have applied lessons learned through efforts to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)1,2, which were established in the year 2000, to frame a new set of global humanitarian goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).3,4
The new SDGs aim to eradicate global poverty by 2030, and will build upon the successes of the Millennium Development Goals – and address important failures.
With the human population set to rise to 9 billion by 2050, the ability of our planet to provide a stable life-support system is increasingly relevant to the security of all nations.
“Planetary stability must be integrated with United Nations’ targets to fight poverty and secure human well-being,” said David Griggs, Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute in Australia, in a March 2013’s Nature article.5 Currently, 17 SDGs are being developed—ranging from ending food insecurity to ensuring availability of clean water for all.6
For nearly 60 years, HAS has been quietly working in one of the most challenged areas of Haiti toward goals that align with the new SDGs.
- We have installed to date 250 wells, which provide access to clean water for more than 120,000 people. More wells are being installed by HAS every year.
- HAS screens 10,000 children a month for malnutrition, and provides important nutrition supplements to help keep children healthy so they can attend school.
- Every year, HAS fully immunizes about 2,000 children, and has eradicated diseases such as polio, tetanus and measles from its service area.
- HAS also helps ensure that mothers and children survive childbirth by providing care that is proven to be most effective. Our physicians, nurses and community health workers encourage women to deliver their babies at a skilled birth facility such as HAS rather than at home – the single most important factor in determining maternal survival. HAS health agents also routinely visit infants at home within 72 hours of birth – the single most important intervention for ensuring infant survival.
In 2013 HAS adopted a five-year strategic plan based on the recognition that public health is fundamental to a self-sustaining Haiti. HAS is proud to be a public health leader in the global movement toward sustainability, and we look forward to continued collaboration with the communities we serve and with our partners to realize the new Sustainable Development Goals.
1. United Nations. Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml
2. Government of the Netherlands. Development cooperation. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml
3. International Labour Organization. Rio+20 – The three dimensions of sustainable development. 18 Oct 2012. http://www.ilo.org/pardev/information-resources/newsletter/WCMS_191652/lang–en/index.htm
4. United Nations. Introduction and proposed goals and targets on sustainable development for the post2015 development agenda. 2 June 2014.
5. Griggs, David. Sustainable development goals for people and planet. Nature. 495; 21 Mar 2013.
6. United Nations. Press release: UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group proposes sustainable development goals. 4-6 June 2012. http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/4538pressowg13.pdf