People Champions are concerned with access to essential goods and services, such as food, housing, and health care. You may want to explore investments that support, or are aligned with, issues such as affordable housing, increased access to quality education, and the treatment of major diseases.
Why is it important to support people’s basic needs?
The number of people living in extreme poverty is increasing for the first time in a generation.1 This situation is being caused by a combination of growing conflicts, climate-related shocks and the Covid-19 pandemic. Lack of access to basic resources threatens to halt and even reverse the economic development of the world’s poorest communities.
Global coordination is needed to help increase the supply of basic resources and financing to least developed nations (LDCs), in order to maintain and develop their economies, and critical infrastructure, to ensure that millions of people do not fall back into extreme poverty.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to basic needs
In 2015 the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a blueprint for delivering peace and prosperity for people and the planet. At its heart are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You can use the UN SDGs to help direct investments towards the most pressing basic needs-related challenges.
The UN SDGs aligned with basic needs are:
SDG 1: No poverty
The previous few years have seen an increase in global poverty caused by growing conflicts, climate-related shocks, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
SDG 2: Zero hunger
The world must act now to avert a crippling food emergency, and the social, economic and political upheaval that could follow.
SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing
The Covid-19 pandemic has threatened decades of progress in global health.
SDG 4: Quality education
The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened entrenched inequities in education.
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
To ensure a stable and sustainable water supply, the average global implementation rate of improved water resources management needs to double.
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Today, 10% of children globally are engaged in child-labour practices.
SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Strengthening the preparedness and resilience of cities is crucial to humanity’s ability to respond to future crises.
How to invest if supporting people's needs is important to you
Basic needs issues can be reflected in a diversified investment portfolio by choosing managers that use environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, and corporate engagement, to manage risks, and identify opportunities as part of their overall investment process. This approach should include, where relevant, an assessment of how companies and issuers deal with broad basic needs issues, such as the effect they have on food supply, their treatment of workers, or the protection they provide to local communities and local resources, among others.
Such an approach can help investors ensure that financially material risks related to basics needs issues are accounted for in their portfolios, while still giving them the chance to grow their wealth and achieve their long-term financial goals.
If more targeted exposure is required, investors can also seek investments with an explicit focus on factors linked to basic needs, or that look to make an impact on specific basic needs issues – for example, by directly supporting affordable housing projects, or access to education.
United Nations. The Sustainable Development Goals Report. 2022, https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2022.pdf
1 Joe Hasell, Max Roser, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Pablo Arriagada, "Poverty". Published online at OurWorldInData.org, 2022.