Now that the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is well established, Caritas Europa recalls the need to bridge the gap between policy and practice by implementing the agreed Goals. “The Millennium Development Goals were never fully achieved, so we really need to learn from our past failures. For example, according to the 2015 Global Hunger Index, only 72 countries halved the population living in extreme hunger. The current ambitious goal is to have “Zero Hunger” by 2030. To achieve this, we need a consistent and coherent approach at both national and European levels to eradicate hunger in Europe and beyond,” said Shannon Pfohman, Head of Policy and Advocacy of Caritas Europa.
Therefore, Caritas Europa encourages European leaders to take into account the recommendations from our Food Security Report and the voice of people experiencing poverty when drafting policies. We stress the need to go beyond “in silo” thinking; the eradication of poverty is also a Sustainable Development Goal. Caritas Europa’s experiences at grassroots level and in policy analysis show that poverty englobes many different aspects, going far beyond pro capita income. In particular, we recall the need to implement policies that aim at reducing inequalities within and outside Europe. Social inequalities are important root causes of poverty and hunger; they have to be overcome in a consistent and accountable way.
We need to focus on fragile states and least developed countries and ensure a people-focused approach in policy development”
Inequality, social injustice and poverty are also root causes of forced and involuntary migration. Caritas Europa expects the EU to tackle these as a priority and to promote a rights-based approach to migration, in particular when dealing with children and women. Migration can be a transformative force for sustainable development and our leaders should recognise it as such. They should facilitate the role of migrants contributing to sustainable development in their countries of origin as well as of destination, and reduce the costs of sending remittances home to 3% by 2020 at the very least. At the same time, Caritas Europa calls on EU Member States “to increase official development assistance from only 0,42% of Gross National Income (€58.2 billion) to the promised 0,7% of GNI”, reminds Jorge Nuño Mayer, Caritas Europa’s Secretary General.