Adopting the 17 global Goals by Tanzania was not solely a government responsibility to implement the goals on its own but the role of Civil society Organizations to chip in and contribute to the implementation of these goals. Up to the year 2020, a number of CSOs had contributed mainly to the implementation of these SDGs, especially on the goals that are of critical importance in our nation including (Goal 3) Good health and well-being, (Goal 4) Quality Education, (Goal 5) Gender Equality, (Goal 1) Poverty eradication, (goal 2) Zero hunger  (Goal 8) Decent work and economic growth and (Goal 17) Partnership for the goals.

In Tanzania, notwithstanding progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, available assessments show that CSOs are similarly off track, with the acute curtailment of gains achieved through years of progress in reducing poverty and improving socioeconomic outcomes. COVID-19 continues to severely test CSOs’ social, and economic resilience. According to the African Development Bank, the shock of COVID-19 has meant that Africa will not be able to bridge the large financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, estimated at $200 billion per year, with existing government revenues and development assistance, placing countries in a vicious cycle of liquidity challenges, reduced fiscal space, and debt distress. Thus the greater work done by the CSOs has been watershed by the pandemic.

Where education is concerned, the disruption caused by the pandemic has significantly widened the already extensive gaps in access to inclusive quality education and training and, by so doing, constrained the implementation of efforts and achievement of the targets of Goal 4. In around March 2020, almost all schools and training institutions were closed, leaving millions of pre-primary, primary, and secondary children and learners following training and vocational courses out of school for an extended period, Despite countries’ best efforts to reach children through remote learning, one out of two students, from pre-primary to upper secondary levels, could not be reached. Millions of children also missed out on services that are often provided through schools, such as school meals, immunization campaigns, mental health and psychosocial support, and protection from violence. Consequently, millions of children, especially the most marginalized, are at risk of never returning to school and, as a consequence, of lifelong poverty.

The pandemic has severely aggravated gender inequalities, threatening to undermine progress in women’s empowerment done by most of CSOs dealing with gender issues. It was during the pandemic where Gender-Based Violence increased to its extent and women being the most victims of the pressure to serve their families in both house chores and finances, it needs to take a critical look at its commitments to uphold gender equality and women’s empowerment and respond to the most challenging instances of inequality. More than ever, women are needed as equal partners in crafting gender-responsive laws, policies, and budgets to build forward better and ensure a gender transformative agenda in both private and public spheres.

Where financing is concerned, international private sector investment flows to developing and transition economies in sectors relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals fell by about one-third in 2020. , investment activity fell sharply across all Sustainable Development Goal sectors, with the fall more pronounced in poorer regions. Projections of foreign direct investment for the current year are gloomy. Most of CSOs were run by Donor Fundings which were also cut during the pandemic and led to the closing down of most of these CSOs simply because there were no more funds to keep this organization operating, thus some of the organizations had to start from scratch in looking for ways to fund their activities and some have never recovered since then.

The growing debt stress has restrained the financing of both COVID19 recovery and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The world is thus at a decisive juncture in its history. The actions that people take today will have pivotal ramifications for generations to come. With dedicated leadership from the highest political level, countries can still deliver on the 2030 Agenda. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the interdependence and linkages among the various dimensions of sustainability – from health, well-being, and social and economic prosperity to climate and ecosystems. To offset the vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic, governments, and the international community should make structural transformations and develop common solutions, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals.

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