Senator hails IMF’s $400 billion financing plan for global development


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan, has welcomed International Monetary Fund and multilateral development banks (MDBs) for unveiling their plans to jointly provide $400 billion in financing during the next three years to finance attaining sustainable development goals.

Massive financial support for developing countries like Pakistan will be required to meet the historic challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, any financial support by rich countries for the poor countries regarding SDGs implementation would merit appreciation, said the minister in a statement issued here on Sunday.

The announcement of plans for financing attainment of SDGs by the institutions – the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank Group (referred to as the MDBs), and the International Monetary Fund – has come in the lead-up to the UN’s third international conference on ‘Financing for Development’ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which runs from July 13 to 16.

At the international conference, governments are expected work out possible ways and means as to how this bold and transformative new vision of SDGs will be financed and where will the money come from to turn our aspirations into reality.

The conference is being expected to be held at the highest possible political level, including Heads of State or Government, relevant ministers – ministers for finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation – and other special representatives.

Having run from 2000 to 2015, the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are expiring this year in September and are being replaced by a new set of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals at the start of 2016, which together aim to drive development efforts around the world.

Running from 2016 to 2030, the proposed SDGs aim to end poverty in all its forms everywhere and include broad topics such as hunger, health, gender equality, education, water and sanitation, energy, economic growth, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, biodiversity and marine conservation.

In September this year, world leaders will meet at the UN headquarters in New York to agree SDGs, which is being described by development experts as an ‘ambitious new development agenda’.

Mushahidullah Khan cautioned that attaining SDGs in developing countries including Pakistan is less likely because of their weak economic conditions, many of which have still struggling to recover massive economic damages due to devastating climate change-induced disasters.

Of course, money required for meeting SDGs in poor countries should come primarily from domestic resources and private resources. But massive chunks of such money will have to come from developed countries, who have exploited natural resources in an unsustainable manner over last several decades, he said.

The minister stressed that SDGs are ambitious development framework and demand equal ambition in using the billions of dollars in current flows of official development assistance (ODA) and all available resources to attract, leverage and mobilise trillions of dollars in investments of all kinds – public and private, national and global.

Mushahidullah Khan said that global development experts estimate that 2-3 trillion dollars of additional investment will be required by developing countries for implementation of the new 17 development goals over the SDGs’ lifetime from 2016 to 2030.