UN, World Bank Discuss Financing SDGs in Vulnerability
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An informal briefing addressed financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in countries in vulnerable situations, with participation from UN system representatives, the World Bank, and governments.

Axel Van Trotsenburg, World Bank, highlighted the December 2015 decision by 60 World Bank shareholder governments to invest US$75 billion in the Bank's International Development Association (IDA), which provides grants and low-interest or zero-interest loans to the poorest countries.

26 January 2017: An informal briefing addressed financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in countries in vulnerable situations, with participation from UN system representatives, the World Bank, and governments. The discussion followed an informal briefing on sustainable finance in December 2016, during which the UN Environment Programme (UN Environment) presented the findings of its ‘Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.’

The briefing, convened by UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Peter Thomson and the World Bank, took place on 26 January 2017, in New York, US. Opening the meeting, Thomson highlighted an informal UNGA meeting in early February with Germany’s G-20 Sherpa, who will inform Member States about preparations for the 2017 G-20 Summit; and an ‘SDG Financing Lab’ that the UNGA President will convene in April, which will be a high-level event on financing the SDGs.

The World Bank will establish a Private Sector Window to scale up engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Axel Van Trotsenburg, World Bank, highlighted the December 2015 decision by 60 World Bank governments to invest US$75 billion in the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides grants and low-interest or zero-interest loans to the poorest countries. From this US$ 75 billion, he said: US$45 billion will go to countries in Africa over a three-year period; US$20 billion will be offered in support to fragile states, from which US$2 billion will be used to introduce a refugee sub-window and risk mitigation regime; US$2.5 billion will be used to establish a Private Sector Window; the Regional Window will be scaled up to US$7 billion; and a part will enable access to a larger non-concessional Scale Up Facility of US$6.2 billion. He said the Private Sector Window will: scale up the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) engagement in IDA-only/ fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS); focus on FCS markets; and crowd in private investment and create markets.

Lenni Montiel, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), underlined the need to invest in peace and security to make investments possible in risky environments. He stressed the need for: meeting all official development assistance (ODA) commitments; targeting ODA for the countries, sectors and vulnerable groups where it is needed the most, in order to “leave no one behind;” and using ODA smartly to promote policy support and investment in countries that cannot otherwise mobilize resources.

In the ensuing discussion, participants raised issues related to: the centrality of de-risking for leveraging the aid money to attract investment; the need to educate investors on the SDGs and government institutions on what investors want as part of de-risking process; criteria for small island developing states (SIDS) to get access to the IDA funding; and the need to align ODA with the national development priorities. The briefing, titled ‘Future of financing for sustainable development,’ was part of an ongoing series of events that Office of the 71st UNGA President is organizing throughout the session to help drive the SDG implementation. [IISD Sources] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on UNEP Inquiry]

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