Unlocking Private-Sector Funds for Sustainable Development

The annual funding gap for the Sustainable Development Goals is many trillions of dollars. The only way to close that gap is with the help of the private sector – in particular, by impelling companies to account in their decision-making for environmental, social, and governance issues relevant to the SDGs.

WASHINGTON, DC – For the last three years, dozens of countries have gathered each July to present their national plans to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the latest of these United Nations High-Level Political Forums, governments rolled out impressive blueprints – almost none of which included realistic budgets or revenue sources.

Estimates of the development investment gap are typically in the trillions of dollars, while official development assistance is hovering around $140 billion per year. One effective way to help close this funding gap is to catalyze substantial investment from the private sector.

The private sector has long played an integral role in poverty reduction and economic development – a role that extends well beyond finance. Private companies create 90% of jobs (the most effective way to lift people out of poverty) in the developing world and facilitate improved efficiency, technological adoption and innovation, and the distribution of goods and services.

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