By Josephine Akaerr
The African Development Bank (AfDB) joined a group of 11 multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday in launching a first-ever joint report on financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The launch took place during a virtual ceremony attended by the heads of the institutions. The report is released at the end of a critical year, with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to reverse progress on the SDGs. In response, MDBs have collectively mobilized a global response package of US$230 billion between 2020 and 2021, to reduce the pandemic’s impact, of which US$75 billion will be directed to the world’s poorest countries before the end of 2020.
The crisis triggered by the COVID 19 pandemic has threatened to reverse progress against the SDGs. National and global leaders have recognized the opportunity—and responsibility—to ensure that recovery efforts support the SDGs, the report said.
The report highlights selected examples of initiatives related to the 17 SDGs and efforts to “mobilize finance, create knowledge, and build capacity” for countries for their achievement. It showcases examples of how their financing directly contributes to advancing SDGs that empower people, protect the planet, foster prosperity for all, and develop sustainable quality infrastructure.
Head of the Islamic Development Bank Group (ISDB) Bandar Hajjar, whose institution led the compilation of the report, said the pandemic had highlighted the fragility of the progress countries have made toward the SDGs and underlined the imperative of fostering better and more resilient development.
“We recognize the urgency to achieve the 2030 Agenda through the work that needs to go into building a more resilient post-COVID-19 world,” Hajjar said. “The report also emphasizes the critical importance of MDBs partnerships to deliver financing, knowledge, and capacity building support for the SDGs.”
Such partnerships and coordination would include increased support for an ambitious climate action for the planet; fostering digitalization for sustainability; continuing to promote sustainable infrastructure, strengthening resilience and mobilizing finance by attracting, de-risking, leveraging and catalyzing investments of all kinds.
“This joint report reflects our collective engagement and strong commitment to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. To accelerate Africa’s development, we will continue joining investment hands across the globe,” African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said.
Examples of African Development Bank initiatives, such as its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation Program, which aims to reach 40 million farmers by 2023 and add 120 million metric tons to the African food basket, are included in the report.
The Bank’s Africa NDC Hub, established in 2018 to provide resources to countries in the region to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), is also highlighted. The hub is supported by18 international partners, including partner MDBs such as the Islamic Development Bank.
Key activities include developing a digital tool for policy makers to mainstream the SDGs, NDCs, and the Africa Agenda 2063 in national development plans. The Bank has also supported Cote d’Ivoire in developing an NDC investment plan, and its Africa NDC Hub hosts the ClimDev Special Fund to modernize Africa’s climate and weather observation networks.
“These are very extraordinary times…we will need to have audacious leadership, we will need to have audacious partnerships, and we will need to have audacious financing systems,” Adesina said.
The 12 organizations partnering on the report are the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the IDBGroup, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank Group, the New Development Bank, and the World Bank Group (World Bank, IFC, MIGA).