The Islamic Development Bank has joined a group of 11 multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today in launching a first-ever joint report on financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report is released at the end of a critical year, in which the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress on the SDGs. In response, MDBs have collectively mobilized a global response package of $230 billion between 2020 and 2021 to reduce the impact of the pandemic, of which $75 billion will be directed to the world’s poorest countries before the end of 2020.
[The COVID-19 pandemic] has reinforced the relevance of the 17 SDGs as a road map for inclusive, sustainable, green, and resilient recovery. In responding to the crisis, countries and their development partners have an opportunity to refocus on the SDGs,” the joint report says.
H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar, President, Islamic Development Bank and Chair of the Heads of MDBs meetings, said: “It is an honour as Chair of the Heads of MDBs meetings to launch this report today, along with 11 other leading Multilateral Development Banks. Unlike commercial banks, MDBs don’t seek to maximise profits - instead we seek to maximize development impact. Our institutions are therefore in a unique position to finance the SDGs and the report shows the impact the work MDBs have had in their member countries. We hope that this report will provide hope to what was due to be the Decade of Action and focus. As MDBs we have an opportunity to rebuild a more resilient post-COVID-19 world if we work together.”
The joint report highlights collective and individual MDBs efforts to support countries to achieve all 17 of the SDGs. It showcases examples of how their financing directly contributes to advancing SDGs that empower people, protect the planet, foster prosperity for all and develop sustainable quality infrastructure. The report also emphasizes the critical importance of MDBs partnerships to deliver financing, knowledge and capacity building support for the SDGs.
Several IsDB Group interventions and initiatives are featured in the report, including the following:
- In early 2018, the IsDB launched two initiatives to promote technological and scientific solutions to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. Engage is a digital hub that creates an innovation ecosystem for engaging and connecting key actors to incentivize and catalyse the harnessing of innovation and creation of new technology solutions that address challenges related to: SDG2, SDG3, SDG4, SDG6, SDG7 and SDG9. The USD 500 million Transform Fund was also established to invest in nurturing early stage innovative ideas that have the potential to become development solutions, piloting and scaling up of innovations targeted at solving development challenges, commercialization of technologies to expand the market reach of commercial products and services as well as supporting capacity building efforts of MCs, especially LDMCs, in strengthening their national science, technology and innovation ecosystem.
- To enhance digital infrastructure, the IsDB has also supported initiatives such as the 2019 Regional Submarine Telecommunications Project in Bangladesh and in Djibouti through investments totalling $82.8 million. These projects seek to meet growing demand for international voice and data communication by connecting the two countries to the Southeast Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 5 submarine cable network, enabling high-speed internet access to more than 50 million subscribers in Bangladesh and more than 60 million subscribers in Djibouti.
The report concludes that MDBs must continue their efforts to invest in people and human capital, with a deeper focus on inclusion. They will step up their efforts to protect the planet and promote green development and ambitious climate action reflecting the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. They must also work to strengthen resilience to shocks and stresses, in order to preserve prosperity and continue to promote sustainable infrastructure, including to foster digitization to support innovation and sustainability. They will continue to deepen their partnerships for the goals, including through knowledge sharing and common reporting on the SDGs.
“The MDBs are committed to working alongside all partner countries to help them emerge from this unprecedented crisis better positioned to achieve the SDGs.”
The 12 organizations partnering on the report are the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the IDB Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank Group, the New Development Bank, and the World Bank Group (World Bank, IFC, MIGA).