Sdg Knowledge Weekly: Public, Private And Blended Finance Update

April 19th, 2019 / Hillary K Bainny
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This week’ SDG Knowledge Weekly looks at recent developments in the finance world, with the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) having been held from 12-14 April, in Washington, DC, and the 2019 Financing for Development (FfD) Forum underway from 15-18 April, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

Launched at a press conference on 4 April, ahead of the Financing for Development (FfD) Forum, the ‘2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report’ of the UN’s Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF) introduces “integrated national financing frameworks” to help countries align their financing policies with their strategies and priorities.

While the report highlights progress in some countries and increasing interest in sustainable investment, it also notes that investment is falling in many countries and that 30 developing countries are at high risk of – or are already in – debt distress. In addition, the report flags that tax revenues are inefficient, inequality is on the rise, wage growth is at its lowest since 2008, trust in the multilateral system is eroding, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions grew 1.3% in 2017.

The report therefore calls for “repurposing” the global institutional architecture to create a more sustainable global economy.

During the 2019 Spring Meetings, the World Bank hosted an event titled, ‘SDGs in Action: Integrating the SDGs into National Budgets.’ The event explored how countries can “cost out” finance gaps in achieving the SDGs, and discussed means of filling those gaps. Speakers included World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, among other development finance institution (DFI) heads and ministers of finance.

A video recording is available at the above link, and SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of the Spring Meetings and their outcomes is here.

On international public finance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released preliminary data for 2018 official development assistance (ODA) in a note titled, ‘Development Aid Drops in 2018, Especially to Neediest Countries.’ The note highlights that foreign aid from donors in 2018 totaled USD 153 billion, calculated using a new “grant-equivalent” methodology. Under the old “cash-flow basis” methodology, 2018 ODA was USD 149.3 billion, down 2.7% in real terms from 2017. The OECD attributes the drop “largely due to less aid being spent on hosting refugees.” An interactive page containing the data is available on the OECD website, and coverage of the release is also available on Devex.

This was originally posted on the IISD SDG knowledge hub.

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