UNICEF: ‘Working with corporations is helping us make real progress toward sustainable development goals. Here’s how’

We’ve got seven years left to fulfill the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Improvement Targets (SDGs) by 2030. On the heels of the World Financial Discussion board and the primary UN water convention in virtually 50 years, firms and organizations around the globe are anticipated to refresh their SDG commitments–and to use extra ambition and urgency to them than ever.

At UNICEF, now we have labored with corporations around the globe to put money into a safer, extra sustainable world for youngsters by specializing in the SDGs. And I’ve seen firsthand what makes the most important and most fast affect.

The key? Partnering with a corporation that’s already steeped within the SDGs and devoted to accelerating progress towards them.

Consider it like studying a brand new language or coaching for a marathon. Certain, you are able to do it by yourself, however by working with a associate with longstanding experience you’ll attain your vacation spot extra shortly and with extra confidence.

The identical goes for a corporation like UNICEF. By means of a long time of partnerships with the non-public sector in a whole lot of territories, we’ve been capable of do much more to strengthen the programs that shield youngsters and their households than we’d have been capable of do on our personal.

Listed below are three examples of how our partnerships to advance the SDGs have delivered affect at scale. They display how investing in scalable options for youngsters at present will end in stronger, extra resilient communities tomorrow.

Bettering psychological well being and well-being for tens of millions of  younger individuals

Whereas psychological well being is a crucial accelerator throughout all SDGs, one objective, SDG3 is devoted to making sure “wholesome lives and promote well-being for all in any respect ages.”

Nonetheless, COVID-19 has sadly challenged our potential to fulfill this objective in addition to our different 2030 deadlines for youngsters and youth.

The excellent news? The pandemic additionally led the non-public sector and enterprise leaders to quickly acknowledge the significance of psychological well-being for the survival, development, and growth of younger individuals–and for his or her prospects and staff of their position as mother and father and caregivers.

Even earlier than the pandemic, younger individuals had been carrying the burden of unaddressed psychological well being points, with one in seven experiencing psychological issues worldwide, and half of all psychological issues starting by the age of 14.

One group alone can not tackle the necessity to speed up progress on this entrance. Somewhat, what we want is the type of collective motion we’ve seen with the World Coalition for Youth Psychological Properly-being–a UNICEF-hosted initiative launched with the help of Z Zurich Basis.

The coalition seeks to handle the rising world burden of psychological well being situations in youth by providing a worldwide platform for funding and motion on psychological well-being. Strategic members embody Jo Malone London, Spotify, and Zurich Insurance coverage Group, alongside Z Zurich Basis.  

Collectively, our intention is to strengthen the social and emotional expertise and the supportive and nurturing environments for the psychological well being and well-being of 30 million younger individuals in 30 nations by 2030, delivering affect at scale and serving to obtain the SDGs.

Mapping faculty connectivity to present youngsters info, alternative, and selection

Not all of our partnerships give attention to one SDG. Most cowl a number of, as has been the case with Ericsson. We’ve come collectively to assist map faculty connectivity around the globe.

Mapping the web connectivity panorama for colleges and their surrounding communities is a vital first step towards offering each little one with entry to digital studying alternatives. This joint effort is a part of the Giga initiative. Launched in 2019 and led by UNICEF and the Worldwide Telecommunication Union, Giga goals to attach each faculty on the earth to the web.

With the help of Ericsson and different companions, over 2 million faculty areas throughout 136 nations have now been mapped. Ericsson’s monetary and in-kind help has contributed to Giga’s achievement in connecting an preliminary 5,500 colleges and over 2 million college students throughout 4 continents.

Turning luxurious merchandise into fundraising autos to assist youngsters survive and thrive

A inventive partnership with Louis Vuitton is elevating funds to help UNICEF’s efforts to achieve youngsters, particularly in emergencies. A uniquely designed product, the Silver Lockit–symbolizing safety, care, and a dedication to assist youngsters–was created and made obtainable in Louis Vuitton shops worldwide and on-line. Louis Vuitton additionally inspired its workers members, companions, and shoppers to make direct donations to UNICEF all year long.

UNICEF and Pandora are additionally turning baubles into large motion on SDG3. As a part of a three-year world partnership, Pandora launched a sequence of merchandise in help of UNICEF for its “Charms for change” initiative, offered at shops throughout 100 nations. The funds we’re elevating with Pandora go in the direction of UNICEF packages on schooling, gender equality, rights consciousness, private empowerment, and civic engagement, in addition to UNICEF’s core work to assist youngsters around the globe survive and thrive.

The partnership, help, and belief in UNICEF that every of those organizations has proven have been invaluable in our work to attain the SDGs.

We consider deeply that a greater future–the one promised by the SDGs–remains to be doable. And we all know, with no shadow of a doubt, that investing in youngsters is a prerequisite for that future.

With customers anticipating accountability from firms on their SDG commitments, public-private partnerships are a useful method to show what’s doable when hope turns into collaboration.

Carla Haddad Mardini is the director of the non-public sector fundraising and partnerships division at UNICEF.

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