De-risking mechanisms can increase private capital to achieve the SDGs.

10 Oct 2017 by Marcos Athias Neto, Director, UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development and Alexandra Soezer, UNDP Climate Change Technical Advisor

Ahead of the Social Good Summit in Geneva on Friday, 13 October 2017, UNDP reflects on the potential results greater inclusion of the private sector can yield towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
The SDGs represent an unprecedented global consensus to align our efforts for the next 13 years on a comprehensive and ambitious development agenda for people and the planet. This level of ambition now needs to be matched with the necessary resources, innovation capacity and partnerships to drive implementation. The private sector, in this context, is an indispensable partner. In developing countries, private sector operations constitute 60 percent of GDP, while generating 90 percent of jobs and 80 percent of capital inflows. For private sector to fully embrace the SDGs, an enabling environment that encourages innovation, and better values inclusion and sustainability, is needed. This requires innovative public policy and legislative reforms, informed by multi-stakeholder policy dialogue. The good news is that there is a clear business case for the private sector to invest in SDG implementation. By developing new business models to meet the demands of the base of the pyramid (people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power) and by investing in sustainable approaches in areas such as agriculture, cities, energy and health, new economic opportunities of up to US$12 trillion could be generated. Private sector opportunities and investments will be extremely important for SDG 9, resilient infrastructure. … Read more

Opinion: The pros and cons of ethical debt instruments

04 Sep 2017 by Gail Hurley, Policy Specialist on Development Finance

For low-income countries in particular, development aid will continue to play a critical role in supporting development efforts, and must be increased. Photo @UNDP
In May, the World Bank issued the world’s first bond linked explicitly to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Labeled SDG bonds, the bank raised 163 million euros from institutional investors in France and Italy with the proceeds to be channeled into projects that aim to eliminate extreme poverty in line with Goal 1 of the SDGs. The initiative — which aims to capitalize on a rising number of investors interested in positive social and environmental impacts, in addition to financial returns — has been heralded an innovation in investment products and can be added to a growing list of innovative debt instruments that are marketed as “ethical” or socially and environmentally responsible. Other examples include: green bonds, a multibillion dollar market in which the proceeds of a bond issue are tied to environmentally friendly investments such as renewable energy and clean transportation; blue bonds, a newer debt instrument championed by the Seychelles to fund investments in sustainable ocean industries; vaccine bonds, where funds are raised from international capital markets for immunization programs in developing countries with bondholders repaid by future streams of donor development aid; and social and development impact bonds, where impact investors provide upfront financing for social or development interventions and are repaid by governments and/or donors when specified … Read more

What kind of blender do we need to finance the SDGs?

12 Jul 2017 by Mara Niculescu, Partnership Development Analyst, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

A look at the current state of development funding shows a stark contrast between the price tag to eliminate poverty and protect the planet by 2030, and the actual financial resources that are available. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will take between US$5 to 7 trillion, with an investment gap in developing countries of about US$2.5 trillion. At the same time, the most recent OECD DAC report shows that in 2016 the total official development assistance reached a peak of US$142.6 billion, which is one order of magnitude smaller than the needs. Who is going to cover these gaps and how? The days of “funding” (out of a moral imperative) are over; instead, “financing” is seeing good investments for your money, while contributing to positive development. Under the new Development Agenda, it is the actual governments that hold a significant share of the resources needed to achieve the SDGs. The World Bank estimated that between 50 and 80 percent of what’s required will come from domestic resources. Private funding and private capital hold another great potential for growth – it is estimated that only about 10% of the current infrastructure … Read more

Why prepare for disaster recovery?

08 Jun 2017 by Lucile Gingembre, Preparedness for Disaster Recovery Project Coordinator, UNDP

Recovery offers a window of opportunity to make the right decisions to reduce future risk and increase resilience. Photo: UNDP
When mega-hurricane Katrina hit the US twelve years ago, I remember staring in amazement at my TV screen. I couldn’t understand why the country seemed so unprepared to deal with the catastrophe and get back on its feet. Years later, many lessons have been drawn; the number one take away is: “Make every possible effort to reduce risk”; number two “Have a plan and be ready”. The aftermath of a disasters can be challenging with many stakeholders, competing priorities and limited financial resources. Many questions come to mind: How can we ensure that recovery and reconstruction do not lead to an accumulation of new risks and vulnerability? How can we balance speed with quality of recovery efforts? How can we make sure recovery leaves no one behind and contribute to broader development goals? Recovery offers a window of opportunity to make the right decisions to reduce future risk and increase resilience. Through the project I coordinate, UNDP, with funding from the Governments of Japan and Luxembourg supports Governments and communities across five African countries prepare for disaster recovery. In the past three years, countries have reinforced institutional capacity, established supportive policies and guidelines, built partnerships and identified financing mechanisms for recovery. Altogether these efforts … Read more

Yemen needs broad support to stop its crisis

24 Apr 2017 by Auke Lootsma, CO Director Yemen

It will take far more than emergency aid to address one of the worst food and humanitarian emergencies in recent memory. Photo: UNDP
At pledging conference, donors must stand and deliver. Fragile, impoverished Yemen already ranked among the world’s poorest countries when political transition erupted into all-out war two years ago. To make things worse, the country is also suffering the largest food security crisis worldwide. It will take far more than emergency aid to address one of the worst food and humanitarian emergencies in recent memory. Yemen’s deepening crisis has reversed decades of hard-won development gains, with civilians paying an appalling price. Five years ago, for example, as a result of UNDP’s de-mining efforts, the country was nearly mine-free. Now, all 22 governorates are littered with explosives, in some cases severely. More than 3.3 million people have been displaced, 10,000 killed, and 40,000 injured in the ongoing conflict.  Yemen has historically imported 90 percent of its food, overwhelmingly through the embattled port of Hodeidah. With ports, roads, bridges, and other basic infrastructure badly damaged - and in some cases blockaded - and domestic agriculture disrupted, Yemenis are now on the brink of an avoidable famine. Some 17 million people now don’t know where they might find their next meal and 6.8 million face life-threatening malnutrition—in a country of only 27 million, mostly younger … Read more