IDB launches new business model to further address UN SDGs

Amid a growing worry that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be achieved by 2030, the IDB has launched a new business model aiming to enhance countries’ competitiveness in strategic sectors and help bridge the over US$200 trillion development financing gap. MARC ROUSSOT reports.

The IDB’s new strategy is based on seven core pillars including harnessing the powers of science, technology and innovation; developing public, private and philanthropic partnerships; and further tapping global capital markets.

Calling on other development banks to follow its example and completely overhaul their strategy, the Islamic multilateral development bank also plans to concentrate its funding effort on industries in which its member countries can build a global comparative advantage.

“There needs to be a dramatic change in strategy if we are to fulfill the SDGs by 2030,” said Dr Bandar Hajjar, the president of the IDB, who fears that in many areas there is a risk of reversing the progress made to date.

Presenting contrasted progress in the achievement of the SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reveals that the number of hungry people has increased in the world for the first time in more than a decade, up from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.

On the positive side, the report highlights that the number of people living under the international poverty line — US$1.9 per day — has plunged from 26.9% in 2000 to 9.2% in 2017, and the under-five mortality rate dropped by almost 50%.

With all its 57 member countries part of the developing world, the IDB has put the achievement of the agenda of the SDGs at the front and center of its strategy and launched a number of initiatives including the US$500 million Transform Fund supporting local innovators and entrepreneurs, and the IDB Innovate crowdfunding platform currently supporting projects in nine member countries.

On the whole, the IDB’s member countries alone need about US$700 billion a year to finance the SDGs.

This article first appeared in IFN Volume 16 Issue 04 on the 30th of January 2019

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