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ACS23: UN calls for $500bn annual SDG funding for developing countries

ACS23: UN calls for $500bn annual SDG funding for developing countries
September 06
09:40 2023

Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), says there is need for a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) annual finance facility for developing countries. 

Speaking at the ongoing Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya, Guterres said at least $500 billion annually will help vulnerable countries make investments that will benefit their people.

He said African countries embody great potential that remains untapped due to injustice like the climate crisis.

He said Africa is set to become a “renewable energy superpower” if provided with essential support, adding that it is time to forge an alliance and create a new global financial system.


“Africa can be a renewable energy superpower. Now is the time to bring together African countries with developed countries financial institutions and technology companies to create a true African Renewable Energy Alliance,” he said.

“And all of that requires addressing another injustice: an outdated, unfair and dysfunctional global financial system.

“On average, African countries pay four times more for borrowing than the United States — and eight times more than the wealthiest European countries.


“I have called for an SDG stimulus of at least $500 billion a year to help developing countries invest in their people and the systems they need.”

He added that accelerating a just and equitable green transition requires a dramatic course correction which includes “ensuring an effective debt-relief mechanism that supports payment suspensions, longer lending terms, and lower rates”.

“It means re-capitalizing and changing the business model of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) so they can massively leverage private finance at affordable rates to help developing countries build truly sustainable economies,” Guterres said.



On his part, Simon Stiell, executive secretary of UN climate change, said there is a need to stabilise the climate change agenda and build resilient societies in Africa and globally.

He said the world needs to develop, but not in a carbon intensive way, and that is why there needs to be a global responsibility on how that is achieved.

“And that’s exactly what we’re here to do. So that African nations can come to COP28 leading in action and ambition,” Stiell said.

“The discussions taking place here will inform the global stock-take about the challenges, barriers, solutions and opportunities for climate action and support within the context of Africa.”


He added that Africa Climate Week will usher in action that must enable governments to amplify their commitments, strengthen regional collaboration and empower local transformation.

He said this will enable African nations “come to COP28 — less than 100 days away — leading on action and ambition”.


He assured that the UN framework convention on climate change will work with Africa to identify the solutions to attain those opportunities.


This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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