Sustainable Development Goals : Pakistan welcomes $400 billion funding plans for poor countries

International financial institutions have announced the funding programme for three years

Our Correspondent July 12, 2015
International financial institutions have announced the funding programme for three years. CREATIVE COMMONS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has welcomed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks’ (MDBs) agreement to jointly provide $400 billion in order to attain sustainable growth in the world.

The funds will help less developed countries achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) over the next three years, said a press release issued by the Ministry of Climate Change on Sunday.

“Massive financial support for developing countries like Pakistan will be required to meet the historic challenge of achieving the SDGs. However, any financial support by rich countries for the poor countries regarding SDGs implementation would merit appreciation,” Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan said in the statement.

The announcement by the financial institutions — the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank Group (referred to as the MDBs), and the International Monetary Fund — has come in the lead up to the United Nations’ third international conference on ‘Financing for Development’, which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from July 13 to 16.

At the international conference, governments are expected to work out as to how this new vision of SDGs will be financed and where will the money come from to turn aspirations into reality.

Several heads of states, ministers, and special representatives will attend the summit.

Having run from 2000 to 2015, the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are expiring this year in September and are being replaced by a new set of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals at the start of 2016, which together aim to drive development efforts around the world.

Running from 2016 to 2030, the proposed SDGs aim to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and include broad topics such as hunger, health, gender equality, education, water and sanitation, energy, economic growth, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, biodiversity and marine conservation.

In September this year, world leaders will meet at the UN headquarters in New York to agree on SDGs, which is being described by development experts as an ambitious new development agenda.

Khan cautioned that attaining SDGs in developing countries including Pakistan is less likely because of their weak economic conditions, many of which are still struggling to recover from massive economic damages due to devastating climate change-induced disasters.

“Of course, money required for meeting SDGs in poor countries should come primarily from domestic resources and private resources. But massive chunks of such money will have to come from developed countries, who have exploited natural resources in an unsustainable manner over last several decades,” he said.

The minister stressed that SDGs are an ambitious development framework and demand equal ambition in using the billions of dollars in current flows of official development assistance and all available resources to attract, leverage and mobilise trillions of dollars in investments of all kinds — public and private, national and global.

The minister said that global development experts estimate that 2-3 trillion dollars of additional investment will be required by developing countries for implementation of the new 17 development goals over the SDGs’ lifetime from 2016 to 2030.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.