The Case for Long-Term SDG Financing

Expertise Level
Resource Type
Guidance and Frameworks
Developer or Source
Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

The SDGs are seriously off track. Poor and vulnerable countries suffer the most. At the core, the SDGs are an investment agenda. Yet, the global financial architecture is failing to channel global savings to SDG investments at the needed pace and scale. There is deep, chronic, and crippling underinvestment in a significant proportion of developing countries. This paper underlines four priorities to scaleup and align global financing flows for the SDGs:

(i) Reform of the Global Financial Architecture, notably by expanding funding from Multilateral Development Banks and Public Development Banks;
(ii) More and better targeted Official Development Assistance;
(iii) Revised sovereign credit ratings that consider the long-term growth potential of SDG investments and
(iv) Long-term investment planning, fiscal frameworks, project implementation, financial operations, and relations with partner institutions in developing countries, in order to be able to channel much larger funds into long-term sustainable development. The paper argues that sustainable development is a high-return activity, and that the SDG financing gap is largely the result of missed investment opportunities caused by an inappropriate financing framework. This paper aims to support global efforts to scale-up and align international financing flows to achieve the SDGs, in conjunction with the Summit for a Global Financing Pact in Paris in June 2023.

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