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Changing the game together

Sport is an important enabler of sustainable development. With the aspiration of leaving no one behind and its promotion of tolerance and respect, it can be used as a platform to continue advancing economic development, encourage social inclusion and embrace environmental protection.

UN75: Shaping our future together

In 1945, the world united in laying the foundations of the United Nations (UN), in an endeavour to create international solidarity and a shared commitment to peace and security. Today, the organisation still plays an important role in fulfilling these two principles and the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDG16) that are tied into them. The Netherlands is proud to be a member of the UN and works closely with other countries to defend peace and justice worldwide.

Let’s close the loop on the textile industry

The Netherlands is aiming to develop a fully circular economy by 2050. An economy without waste, where everything runs on reusable raw materials. This goal brings significant challenges to the textile industry: an industry known as one of the most polluting in the world. Although part of the sector is already engaged in and committed to the circular effort, large parts of the industry have not yet made the transition.

Making mouth masks from waste to fight unemployment, poverty and COVID-19

At the beginning of the pandemic the International Labour Organization predicted half the world’s workforce stood to lose their jobs immediately. Most of them in the informal economy and developing world. This means most people who lost their jobs would have no protections against unemployment. In Uganda social enterprise Eco Brix has teamed up with Dutch high tech company TMC to build a machine for producing mouth masks. In doing so, they are fighting unemployment, poverty and COVID-19 at the same time.

Alexandria’s early warning flood system

Ninety percent of all the world’s disasters are water related. Climate change is causing extreme weather events, rising sea levels and storm surges which can lead to severe flooding and loss of life. As a low-lying delta, the Netherlands has developed expertise which it can share with its international partners to build back better. By involving communities in secure data-driven solutions, local residents become empowered to use and share their local knowledge with international experts, who can then help them predict flood events.

Why girls need access to education and sexual health services during pandemics

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, it has forced schools to close on a massive scale in 185 countries. This has left 89% of pupils and students worldwide out of school. As a result, 1.5 billion children and adolescents are missing their education, half of them girls. Ebola epidemics in the past have shown that when schools close, adolescent girls are at higher risk of sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, pregnancy and forced marriages.

Investing in mental health will help us move forwards together

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an alarming effect on mental health. More so in developing countries as economic insecurity compounds the effects of lockdown. This is then magnified by grief, isolation, anxiety, absence of social support structures and the social stigma which sufferers experience. With 90% of people unable to get the mental health care they need in developing countries, access to psychosocial support was already limited, but social distancing has exasperated the situation. According to a report by Plan, 90 percent of girls and young women are experiencing higher levels of anxiety due to COVID-19.