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Investing in Sustainable Development: innovative finance and financing strategies

The 2019 Financing for Development Forum took place in New York from April 15 to April 18. Four years on from the landmark 2015 Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, what is needed to ensure that sufficient resources are dedicated to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a comprehensive global framework for financing for sustainable development, setting a new paradigm for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

ODA continues to play an important role in supporting the achievement of the SDGs, with the EU and its Member States accounting for over half of the total ODA provided to developing countries – EUR 74.4 billion in 2018 alone, according to preliminary figures.

The 2018 “Investing in Sustainable Development” report provides a comprehensive picture of the EU and its Member States’ efforts to mobilise a broad range of tools in supporting the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals: from official development assistance and domestic resources, to private investment and enabling policies.

But the total financing needs for achieving the SDGs far surpass this – ranging up to an estimated USD 4 trillion of annual investments in developing countries.This gap has led to a coordinated push for innovative mechanisms and a better link between planning and financing at country level.

“The financing needed to achieve the SDGs is well beyond the reach of traditional development assistance.” said Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director General at DG DEVCO, the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development. “We need a concentrated effort. One effort that combines multiple forms of assistance is the EU External Investment Plan (EIP). The EIP goes beyond classical development assistance to support sustainable investments in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood in an integrated way,” Jager explained.

Partner countries also have the opportunity to better direct internal and external resources to meet the SDGs. In 2015, the EU adopted the ‘Collect More, Spend Better’ Approach under which the EU provides broad support in the area of domestic public finance that covers both revenue and expenditure.

Our European Union Delegations are fully involved in helping partner countries to implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. This includes the identification of promising reforms as well as investment projects.

The EU is also promoting joint work at country-level on SDGs financing and support to countries which are increasingly developing strategic integrated approaches to best use available resources and leverage more for sustainable development from  full range of financing sources and other means – public, private, domestic and international finance, technology and capacity building.

Watch the video to learn about the main takeaway messages from the “Investing in Sustainable Development” report, and how the Addis Ababa Action Agenda has influenced development cooperation from the perspective of the EU Delegations.

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Rosalie Henry de Frahan
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30 April 2019

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