The United Nations has called for the urgent need for a significant increase in finance for sustainable development.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in a statement on Monday, said the move was due to the failure of the global financial system to effectively cushion the impacts of current global crises on the Global South.
Guterres, who spoke at the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Stimulus, noted that “Today’s poly-crises are compounding shocks on developing countries – in large part because of an unfair global financial system that is short-term, crisis-prone, and that further exacerbates inequalities.
“We need to massively scale up affordable long-term financing by aligning all financing flows to the SDGs and improving the terms of lending of multilateral development banks.
The Secretary-General reiterated the call for G20 countries to agree on a $500 billion annual stimulus for the SDGs.
He stressed “The high cost of debt and increasing risks of debt distress demand decisive action to make at least $500 billion dollars available annually to developing countries and convert short-term lending into long-term debt at lower interest rates.”
Developing countries do not have the resources they urgently need to invest in recovery, climate action and the SDGs, making them poised to fall even further behind when the next crisis strikes – and even less likely to benefit from future transitions, including the green transition.
However, as underscored by the UN Secretary-General, the SDG Stimulus, while ambitious, is achievable. He said, “Investing in the SDGs is both sensible and feasible: it is a win-win for the world, as the social and economic rates of return on sustainable development in developing countries is very high.
“Urgent political will to take concerted and coordinated steps to implement this package of interconnected proposals in a timely manner is critical.”