The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) apply to every person, of every age, in every community and in every country on Earth, and were endorsed by all 193 member states of the United Nations in September 2015. Although every country starts from a different point for each goal, all nations have committed to work towards them.
The SDGs are based on a shared vision of what world leaders want the world to be like in the future – a future that is secure, sustainable, and based on equality of all peoples both between nations and within nations. The SDGs are based on a belief that no-one should be left behind. It will not be enough that the average person has had their life improved. The poorest and most vulnerable people must also experience improvement in their lives, with a reduction of the disparity between the richest and the poorest.


The goals also provide a framework for accountability. We must ensure that our politicians deliver on their promises. Accountability includes not only accountability for finance but also many other factors such as peace and security, gender equality, and care of the environment.
The fact that world leaders agreed on a set of Sustainable Development Goals reflecting values that The Salvation Army has promoted for 150 years
is something to be welcomed – especially as it can result in positive change for the poorest and most vulnerable people.
The goals identify issues and promote values very familiar to Salvationists:
Equality of all people, with no discrimination
The well-being of all people, with all people able to flourish
Being good stewards of the Earth and its resources
Peace and security for all people
These are values that shine through the Bible and have inspired Christians for more than 2,000 years. All people, without exception, are made in the image of God and are equally precious to him (Genesis 1:27-31). In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). Jesus declared that he came that we might ‘have life and life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).
William Booth Statue

The Salvation Army has always been committed to holistic solutions that address the needs of the whole person, mind, body and soul. William Booth’s understanding of the scope of the gospel developed throughout his lifetime, and since 1890 The Salvation Army has embodied the social gospel in word and deed. Salvationists around the world promote the cause of the most marginalised and vulnerable people. Salvation Army social action must always be an outworking of Christian faith and belief in practice.

The Salvation Army recognises people's need to participate in their own community development and the importance of integration. To achieve the SDGs, there needs to be a focus on solving problems as well as serving people. Just as God created people as integrated persons with ‘body-soul for relationships’, so those seeking to participate in God’s mission to save the world should not fragment services or treat only the body while ignoring the soul and spiritual healing.

Achieving the SDGs will not be easy. It relies on the active participation of not just governments but also private industry, community organisations and people of faith. The goals are universal, for every nation. Now, seven years into the SDGs, we stop to reflect on the first five of the goals; No Poverty, End Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, and Gender Equality. What has happened in the world since the goals started, what has The Salvation Army contributed to the goals, and what can we do to keep reaching for the targets during this decade?

This webpage is in no way comprehensive, but it aims to provide a snapshot of the progress and contribution of The Salvation Army to the first five goals. Within each link on the navigation bar above, you will find the following sections for each goal:

Information about the Sustainable Development Goal, including the United Nations official targets


Information and statistics providing a snapshot of how the world is progressing towards the United Nations targets set for the Goal


Information and statistics of how The Salvation Army has been contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal over the last five years.


Stories from around The Salvation Army world highlighting work relating to the Sustainable Development Goal


A quote of commitment from Salvation Army personnel working in the area of the Sustainable Development Goal