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Global Outlook on Financing for Sustainable Development 2019

Time to Face the Challenge

image of Global Outlook on Financing for Sustainable Development 2019

The financing for sustainable development agenda promises to bring together more actors than ever before – from businesses, governments, philanthropists, and remitting households – to address the world’s most pressing problems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Yet, in spite of this promise, the financing for sustainable development gap is growing. While needs continue to increase, resources available to developing countries have been constrained and in some cases even declining, as illustrated by the recent drop in foreign direct investments. New financial instruments and interactions have yet to mobilise much-needed new resources in sufficient volumes. And despite significant advances, we do not yet fully understand the opportunities and risks faced by the various actors in this complex new global financing system.

This report sounds a wake-up call. To fulfil the commitments of the 2030 Agenda, and lift hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty, the international community needs to maximise the development footprint of existing and future resources, thereby “shifting the trillions” towards the SDGs. The first in a series, this report charts a forward path for the changes required in measurement, policies, and operations to achieve these ambitious objectives.

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Foreword: Investing in a better sustainable development market

In 2015, the international policy community made a marked shift away from framing the world as donors versus recipients, to embrace a shared development agenda. With conflict‑ and climate-driven crises reminding us of our interconnectedness, this repositioning was well overdue. It’s time for the funding design for our global agenda to match this shift. Financing for sustainable development is not a cost; it is an investment. Rather than a static web of providers and receivers, today’s ecosystem of financing for sustainable development (FSD) should be seen as a dynamic market, with providers competing to respond to global demands. Healthy competition will help to drive innovation, better tailor financing to the needs of developing countries, and promote higher social and economic returns.

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